Resources Page

If you find a resource that you think we might be able to add to this page, please use the 'Feedback' form to suggest them to us. Let us know also of any broken links. And perhaps you would like to join our email list?

Being Safe

The purpose of this site is to provide simple advice on making sure that your experience of using a computer on the Internet is as safe as it can be.  We've provided a number of resources here to help you understand and add to the security of your home PC when it is attached to the Internet.

OU Study Modules

Security Resource Sites

We realise that there is a lot of detail offered here - don't feel you need to digest them all at once. These include resource sites which cover general issues and contain tests you can perform on your system.

Safe Computing Leaflet

Health and Safety Resource sites

Email Security


OU Technical Support Information

Technical support on setup and installation issues for OU Course software is offered by the LTS Student Helpdesk Monday - Sunday from 9.00 a.m. to 09:30 p.m (UK time) weekdays, and 9.00 a.m. to 17:00 p.m. at the weekends. NB: The LTS Student Helpdesk does not supply advice or help on the 'Safe Computing' issues covered in this website

Security Products



NB - not all the products listed are free and the free products may not provide the same level of protection as the paid-for ones. This listing does not imply any endorsement.

Operating Systems and software
Checks, scans and updates

Spyware and 'Phishing'

'Spyware' is an increasing threat. It's software that gets planted on your PC which then observes your patterns of behaviour, reporting them back to a central point. In its worst form, it can slow your PC to a crawl. One clear indication that you may have a bad Spyware infection is the frequent popping up of advertisements at random that you haven't asked for. Another is that when you try to install an anti-Spyware product like the ones mentioned below, the system won't allow you to - the Spyware actually tries to 'block' the installation of diagnostic and removal software. Some Spyware versions check your keystrokes in an attempt to grab your username and confidential passwords leading to what is called 'Phishing'. Some 'Spyware' is detected and trapped by anti-virus systems, but not all. It's a growing area of concern.

Malicious emails can try and tempt you into opening a web page designed to steal your personal details. Try taking a 'phishing' test now and see if you can tell which emails are real and which fake.

'Social Networking sites such as 'Facebook' are a rich source of information for potential Identity Theft. Read the advice from Sophos on how to minimise this risk.