Safety in online services

Be careful when using services on the internet. Protect your computer and keep its software up-to-date.

Consider where to give personal information

Many services on the internet require registration. In the registration, users are often asked to give their personal and address details.

All services may not necessarily have up-to-date systems for ensuring an adequate level of information security. Therefore, the information you have stored in a service may end up public if data is leaked.

Examine what information is required for using a service and for which purposes the information is used. If using an online service requires you to give personal information, check how the service uses it. Check also whether the information is submitted via a secure connection.

Be suspicious of e-mail messages that contain links or notifications requesting you to click a link and submit your user name and password on the web page.

Check whether the connection is secure

Some websites are secure (so-called SSL encryption). Websites that use encryption include online banks and shops and online services provided by authorities. You can recognise a secure website by the lock icon next to the browser address bar and the letters "https" (as opposed to "http") at the beginning of a web address.

Encrypting communications

Encryption provides protection against, for example, phishing. In phishing attempts, criminals try to convince users that they are using the website of an online bank or an e-mail service, for example.

Protect yourself by protecting your computer

To ensure that browsing the internet is safe, you should:

  • keep your computer, its software and software add-ons up-to-date;
  • ensure protection against viruses;
  • keep your computer's firewall up-to-date;
  • use different security mechanisms, such as the NoScript add-on for the Firefox browser;
  • disable add-ons that you do not need;
  • use two browsers: one for e-services and another one for other internet activities. That is smart, for example, when an online service requires Java or Adobe Flash.

The following may indicate there is something wrong with a service:

  • pop-up windows warning about malware
  • notifications of information security checks
  • a suddenly opening dialog box asking you to save or run a file.

Certificates are issued by trusted certification service providers (Certificate authority, CA).

Key words: Information security , Internet , Data protection , Encryption

Updated 02.10.2013

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The Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority (FICORA)

The National Cyber Security Centre Finland (NCSC-FI)

Itämerenkatu 3 A

P.O. Box 313

FI-00180 HELSINKI


Media contacts by telephone +358 295 390 248