Safe internet browsing
No matter what your role may be, Internet browsing is essential to everyday life and work.
Make sure you are not at risk by reviewing the information on this page and following some simple steps.
Many people use the Internet on a daily basis without trouble, but it can harbor some hidden dangers to you, your computer and the University. These risks can include exposure of sensitive personal information, sensitive University information and infection by malware. Safe browsing means being aware of these online threats and taking the necessary steps to avoid them.
Follow the below basic guidelines to protect your personal information, your computer and the University from online threats.
Don't click on web links in unexpected emails
Links in unexpected or suspicious emails can take you to bogus websites, where any confidential information you enter, such as account numbers and passwords, can be stolen and used to access your or University information.
Hackers and scammers will often try to direct you to malicious webpages by sending out links via email and ask you to click on links to validate or confirm information such as your personal accounts and passwords.
For more information on how to identify scam and phishing emails refer to the email scams and phishing page.
Check the web address of the site
Malicious websites often use deceptive web addresses to trick users. For example, www.web.uwa.edu.au-secure.ga looks similar to www.web.uwa.edu.au, but if you look closely the web address is very different. Scammers will often use tactics like this to try and trick users into thinking they are visiting a safe or familiar website.
Double-checking the web address is a good way to ensure you're going to the real, trusted site, not a scam site with a similar looking web address. One of the simplest ways to do this is to hover your mouse over a web link in an email to see the actual web page that you will be directed to before you click on a link. If you have clicking on a link, check the web address in your browser and validate it before you enter any personal information.
Look at the security symbol next to the web address
Some websites will display a lock symbol in the address bar. This is most commonly seen with certain types of websites, like online stores and banking sites. This means the website is using a secure connection, which makes it safe to enter your personal information.
You will not see this symbol on all websites, and that's ok; not all websites need this extra layer of security. However, you should avoid entering any sensitive information on any website where you don't see this symbol in the web address bar.
When you are asked to provide any personal information, such as payment details or passwords, validate both the web address of the site and also the site security symbol. If either looks suspicious, do not proceed.
For some specific examples of bad sites used in recent email phishing attacks sent to UWA staff and students, which are designed to steal personal information, refer to the University IT phishing info page.
Update your browser on a regular basis
New viruses and malware are created all the time, so it's important to update your browser regularly. Your browser will usually notify you when it has an update available, but you always have the option to update manually.