Staying Safe Online Hub

Apprentices may complete some (or all) of their learning online, at a distance from work. Here’s how to stay safe online while you’re studying.

You might spend a large proportion of your apprenticeship working from home, or remotely from another location. Although you’re busy with your role and studies, you need to be aware of the risks online and work in a safe and secure way. During your apprenticeship, take steps to protect yourself, your workplace in every task you complete. 

Online security top tips

  1. Make sure your computer, tablet and mobile have up-to-date security software to protect you.
  2. Create passwords others won’t be able to guess.
  3. A combination of letters (upper and lower case), numbers and symbols will be most secure, but make sure it’s something you can remember.
  4. Never share your security details within anyone else and don’t write them down for others to find.
  5. If you use a shared computer, make sure you log out every time you have finished.
  6. Set up a PIN or password to lock your mobile or tablet and use it when your device is idle or unattended.
  7. Don’t click on links, emails or pop-up ads you don’t recognise.
  8. Before entering any personal or payment details on a website, look out for a small padlock symbol in the address bar or browser window and a web address beginning with ‘https’. The ‘s’ stands for secure.
  9. Don’t give out personal information such as address or phone number
  10. Don’t open emails or attachments from people you don’t know.

What is spam?

Spam is unsolicited bulk messages usually to your email account and is often unwanted advertising.

Check your email settings and junk mail filters.

When signing up for online services check the small print carefully to tick/un-tick boxes in relation to receiving further communication and sharing your details with other companies.

What is phishing?

Phishing is the act of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details.

Phishing often involves sending emails which seem to be from reputable companies in order to get you to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. Check emails carefully for signs that there may be something wrong, for example:

  • Look at the email address it’s come from.
  • Does the email start with ‘Dear Customer’?
  • Look at the spelling within the email.
  • Never enter financial or personal information in response to such emails and be wary about opening links within them

What is a virus?

Viruses are programmes that may be harmful to your computer. To avoid computer viruses there are a number of things you can do:

  • Install anti-virus software.
  • Use a pop-up blocker with your internet browser.
  • Use a firewall.
  • Check your privacy settings.
  • Be wary of opening emails/attachments from senders you don’t know.

What is identity theft?

The more information you make available online, the greater the risk of identity theft. It can be very tempting to reply to an email or open an attachment or post personal information about yourself on social networking sites, but you should never do it. Personal information includes your:

  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Postal address
  • Any banking information
  • Photos of yourself

The consequences of fraud can be huge, so you should be aware of the very serious risks. If someone steals your identity they can:

  • Steal your money.
  • Apply for credit in your name.
  • Commit crimes that could put you or others in danger
  • Commit crimes that you could be blamed for

What is cyber-stalking and cyber bullying?

Cyber bullying is when a someone is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or targeted by another young person using the internet, mobile phones or any other type of digital technology.

Cyber-bullying is very serious but whilst it may not always break the law, it is always most definitely wrong.

Always report any type of bullying of any kind to someone you trust and able to help you.

If a person is over the age of 18, these actions are defined as cyber-harassment/cyber-stalking.

Cyber-harassment or ‘cyber-stalking’ is a criminal practice where an individual uses the internet to systematically harass or threaten someone. The best ways to avoid cyber-bullying/stalking include:

  • Only becoming friends/connect with people you know.
  • Adjusting your privacy settings on all of the social media platforms you use. This helps you to choose who sees what from your posts and profile.
  • Being careful of what you share whether photos or personal information.
  • Using the reporting or blocking functions on the social media platforms that you use.
  • Most sites will have instructions on how to report malicious or offensive content and it is possible to block other people from seeing your information.

Apprenticeship Key Themes

If you sign up for an apprenticeship in Wales, you’ll learn about key themes embedded in its curriculum. The key themes are consistent across every apprenticeship in Wales.


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