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Staying Safe Online

Staying Safe Online

Staying Safe Online is becoming ever harder as internet scams become more and more sophisticated. It is an unfortunate reality that fraud is becoming more prevalent and more credible on the internet and in social media. The availability of AI tools has made fraudulent activity more sophisticated and agile. Scammers are using company logos, creating fake accounts, and copying websites to deceive individuals into believing they are communicating with legitimate brands. We feel it is important to share some of these damaging tactics with you.

 

Staying Safe Online through Vigilance

Fake websites and imposter social posts are all used to trick unsuspecting individuals into divulging personal information.

To protect yourself from these scams, we recommend following these best practices:

  1. Consider who you are sharing personal data with. Never share your personal or sensitive data with unknown sources. If you do, limit your sharing of personal data with government departments, public health officials, etc. This takes us to the second point:
  2. Verify the website. Always double-check the website URL to ensure it matches the official website. Scammers often create fake websites with URLs that closely resemble the legitimate site. Pay close attention for any misspellings or additional words in the URL. For example, is it a letter “o” or is it a number zero “0”. Whilst obvious difference when pointed out to, our brain can read jumbled letters without even noticing it (Yuo cna porbalby raed tihs esaliy desptie teh msispeillgns).
  3. Check for security features. Legitimate websites employ security features such as SSL certificates, which can be identified by a padlock icon in the browser’s address bar. Ensure the website you are using has these security measures in place.
  4. Be cautious of unsolicited emails. Scammers may send fraudulent emails claiming to be a recognized brand. These emails often contain links or attachments that can infect your device when clicked or opened. Avoid clicking on suspicious links or downloading attachments from unknown sources.
  5. Verify social media accounts. Scammers may create fake social media accounts that resemble companies you deal with. Look for verification badges or other indications of authenticity, such as a high number of followers.
  6. Report suspicious activity: If you encounter any suspicious websites, emails, or social media accounts claiming a brand you deal with, please report them immediately to the legitimate company’s customer service team.

 

Protect Yourself

Scams and fraud attempts can be unsettling, but with awareness and following these best practices, Staying Safe Online can be achieved. Use CheckMyLink to verify the authenticity and safety of online shopping websites. It is managed by Cyber Skills, in partnership with ScamAdviser and An Garda Síochána. You can check that the website you are using is genuine and free from harmful software by providing the website URL (link).

In addition, it is very helpful to have up-to-date antivirus or online security software installed on all of your devices. Don’t forget that smartphones and tablets are just as in need of malware protection these days as laptops or desktops!

If you think that you have been a victim of fraud and your bank account has been used or compromised in any way you should report the matter immediately to your bank or financial institution to minimise any financial loss to you. In addition, you should report a suspected incident of fraud to An Garda Síochána.

Some additional information can be found on Citizens Information website and their page How to avoid scams.

To conclude:

 

Online Health and Safety Training

Proactive Health and Safety training is critical to ensure a safe workplace. An effective training program can reduce the number of worker injuries and deaths. It can also reduce instances of property damage, legal liability, illnesses, and missed time from work.

Health and Safety training helps establish a culture in which employees themselves help promote proper safety procedures while on the job. It is important that new employees be properly trained and embrace the importance of workplace safety. The role of training in developing and maintaining effective hazard control activities is a proven and successful method of intervention.

This is why we have established Myelearnsafety school. We pride ourselves in how we guide, support and mentor our students. They receive support throughout their learning experience and into their working lives. Our staff have extensive training experience and also have many years industry experience. We understand the challenges that exist within Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety. Our priority is to ensure that all learners are fully prepared to differentiate themselves in the workplace after completing our Health and Safety courses.

Myelearnsafety offers fully online Health and Safety courses.

To find out more, please check our Courses page.

Alternatively, should you need any additional information, please do not hesitate to let us know via email info@elearn.ie

eLearn Online Health and Safety Training Staying Safe Online

eLearn Online Health and Safety Training

Children Safety and the Digital Age

The Digital Sphere for Families

​In a world where children are “growing up digital,” it’s important to help them learn healthy concepts of digital use and citizenship. Parents play an important role in teaching these skills.

Media should work for you and within your family values and parenting style. When used thoughtfully and appropriately, media can enhance daily life. But when used inappropriately or without thought, media can displace many important activities such as face-to-face interaction, family-time, outdoor-play, exercise, unplugged downtime and sleep.

Treat media as you would any other environment in your child’s life. The same parenting guidelines apply in both real and virtual environments. Set limits; kids need and expect them. Know your children’s friends, both online and off. Know what platforms, software, and apps your children are using, what sites they are visiting on the web, and what they are doing online.

Set limits and encourage playtime. Media use, like all other activities, should have reasonable limits. Unstructured and offline play stimulates creativity. Make unplugged playtime a daily priority, especially for very young children.

Screen time shouldn’t always be alone time. Co-view, co-play and co-engage with your children when they are using screens—​it encourages social interactions, bonding, and learning. Play a video game with your kids. It’s a good way to demonstrate good sportsmanship and gaming etiquette. Watch a show with them; you will have the opportunity to introduce and share your own life experiences and perspectives—and guidance. Don’t just monitor them online—interact with them, so you can understand what they are doing and be a part of it.

Be a good role model. Teach and model kindness and good manners online. Because children are great mimics, limit your own media use. In fact, you’ll be more available for and connected with your children if you’re interacting, hugging and playing with them rather than simply staring at a screen.

Know the value of face-to-face communication. Very young children learn best through two-way communication. Engaging in back-and-forth “talk time” is critical for language development. Conversations can be face-to-face or, if necessary, by video chat with a traveling parent or far-away grandparent. Research has shown that it’s that “back-and-forth conversation” that improves language skills—much more so than “passive” listening or one-way interaction with a screen.

Their Limit digital media for your youngest family members. Avoid digital media for toddlers younger than 18 to 24 months other than video chatting. For children 18 to 24 months, watch digital media with them because they learn from watching and talking with you. Limit screen use for preschool children, ages 2 to 5, to just 1 hour a day of high-quality programing. Co-viewing is best when possible and for young children. They learn best when they are re-taught in the real world what they just learned through a screen. So, if Ernie just taught the letter D, you can reiterate this later when you are having dinner or spending time with your child.

Create tech-free zones. Keep family mealtimes, other family and social gatherings, and children’s bedrooms screen free. Turn off televisions that you aren’t watching, because background TV can get in the way of face-to-face time with kids. Recharge devices overnight—outside your child’s bedroom to help him or her avoid the temptation to use them when they should be sleeping. These changes encourage more family time, healthier eating habits, and better sleep.

Don’t use technology as an emotional pacifier. Media can be very effective in keeping kids calm and quiet, but it should not be the only way they learn to calm down. Children need to be taught how to identify and handle strong emotions, come up with activities to manage boredom, or calm down through breathing, talking about ways to solve the problem, and finding other strategies for channelling emotions.

Apps for kids – do YOUR homework. More than 80,000 apps are labelled as educational, but little research has demonstrated their actual quality. Products pitched as “interactive” should require more than “pushing and swiping.” Look to organisations like Common Sense Media for reviews about age-appropriate apps, games and programs to guide you in making the best choices for your children.

It’s OK for your teen to be online. Online relationships are part of typical adolescent development. Social media can support teens as they explore and discover more about themselves and their place in the grown-up world. Just be sure your teen is behaving appropriately in both the real and online worlds. Many teens need to be reminded that a platform’s privacy settings do not make things actually “private” and that images, thoughts, and behaviours teens share online will instantly become a part of their digital footprint indefinitely. Keep lines of communication open and let them know you’re there if they have questions or concerns.

Warn children about the importance of privacy and the dangers of predators and sexting. Teens need to know that once content is shared with others, they will not be able to delete or remove it completely, and includes texting of inappropriate pictures. They may also not know about or choose not to use privacy settings, and they need to be warned that sex offenders often use social networking, chat rooms, e-mail, and online gaming to contact and exploit children.

Remember: Kids will be kids. Kids will make mistakes using media. Try to handle errors with empathy and turn a mistake into a teachable moment. But some indiscretions, such as sexting, bullying, or posting self-harm images, may be a red flag that hints at trouble ahead. Parents must observe carefully their children’s behaviours and, if needed, enlist supportive professional help, including the family pediatrician.

Media and digital devices are an integral part of our world today. The benefits of these devices, if used moderately and appropriately, can be great. But, research has shown that face-to-face time with family, friends, and teachers plays a pivotal and even more important role in promoting children’s learning and healthy development. Keep the face-to-face up front, and don’t let it get lost behind a stream of media and tech.