Use the Internet safely and sensibly

The internet contains many threats that are specifically designed to catch you out. Some are used by thieves to steal information and money. Others are designed to damage computers and IT networks.

Collectively, they contribute to the growing problem of ‘cyber (computer) crime’, which has risen by 63% on business in the last year. Did you know that over 17 million British people were victims of cybercrime? Some have become victims of ‘identity fraud’, which means their information has also been used to commit other crimes.

Businesses like Royal Mail Group are particular targets. Information thieves use clever tactics to steal company information, which could result in severe financial damage for Royal Mail Group, and even regulatory fines, reputational damage and loss of customers. That’s why working proactively to prevent cybercrime is a job we all share. Dubious websites are not the only places where spyware is hidden. Internet safety can be deceiving. Seemingly reputable sites may contain spyware traps, or the sites themselves may be counterfeit, for example, phishing sites posing as the real thing to trap users.

When you are browsing the internet, you can unknowingly fall into a spyware trap, such as a pop-up you click on (even to close it), a deceptive link or a clickable graphic that you accidentally click on. Spyware then loads onto your PC without your knowledge. Sometimes, simply opening a web page or an HTML email starts the installation. Your computer can get infected and your personal information will be at risk.

How do you protect yourself and Royal Mail Group? 

Connect to the internet securely

  • If you access the internet through Royal Mail Group's network then you can be sure of a secure connection.
  • If you are accessing the internet from elsewhere then it's up to you to make sure the connection is secure.
  • If connecting to the Royal Mail Group network remotely, you must use a VPN connection. Contact the IT Helpdesk if you need help to do this. Be aware that the securest way to connect to the internet is via VPN from your Royal Mail Group laptop.
  • If using your own equipment, stick to well-known Wi-Fi spots, and ensure your home Wi-Fi is protected with a strong password.

Think before you click

  • Avoid questionable websites and file sharing sites
  • Restrict your surfing to well known, reputable websites. This includes never viewing, searching for, storing, sending or forwarding any offensive, sexually explicit or abusive/exploitative material.
  • As you visit websites, always look at the URL in the browser address bar to check that the website is genuine. Look for misspelt website addresses or incorrect web extensions (e.g. if you see .net when you know it should be .com).
  • As you move your mouse pointer over website links, most web browsers display the address of the website you will be taken to in the bottom left corner of the window. Check to see if you’re being taken to the correct page. Type in a trusted URL for a company's site into the address bar of your browser to bypass links in an email or instant message.
  • When logging into accounts such as a bank or shopping website, make sure the website address begins with https:// to ensure a secure connection (look for the ‘s’ for secure). Never select the ‘remember my password’ option when logging in. If someone else were to use your computer (including if it were stolen or lost), they would have full access to your accounts.
  • Never click on online advertising. If a product or service looks interesting then remember the name of the company and search for it using a search engine.
  • Never install software or apps onto your Royal Mail Group computer or mobile device. If you think you need additional software, contact the IT Service Desk or talk to your manager.
  • You should also read our Acceptable Use Policy to understand how to use the internet appropriately at work.

Want to get in touch?

We’re always available to answer your questions or address your concerns about information security and data protection at Royal Mail Group. Simply contact Think Secure