Web Safety

Using the World Wide Web is part of working and studying at James Cook University, by protecting yourself online, you are contributing to a secure computing environment for all staff and students at JCU.

Online Transactions

Online transactional systems (such as banking, shares and superannuation) are of significant concern to most people. An area of significant threat is the use of shared computers such as those found in computer labs, cyber cafes and airport lounges. If someone has placed a keystroke logger on these devices, your username and password could be compromised. Use the following guidelines to stay safe when conducting online transactions:


  • Type in the address of the website you want to connect to, never follow a link in an email.

  • Make sure you use a strong password for important online services. To be extra careful, use a different password for sensitive sites such as online banking.

  • Check the status of your online transaction accounts regularly and contact your transaction service provider immediately in the event of any problems.


  • Purchase items from websites you are unsure of. Check the credentials of the business first and confirm that you are indeed looking at their website.

  • Use 'shared' PCs for online transactional services.

  • Proceed with a transaction unless you see the golden SSL padlock displayed.

  • Proceed with a transaction if you receive a warning or error message regarding the 'certificate' for the site. Such warnings can sometimes indicate the presence of a malicious 3rd party, impersonating your service provider’s site (e.g. pretending to be your bank).

Authentic Websites

Today we spend a lot of time accessing services through password protected webpages, from email, to news, to banking and online shops. Before logging into any website:


  • Ensure you typed the address correctly into the web browser for the home page.

  • Check for HTTPS at the front of the web address or the padlock symbol at the end of the address (this will differ from browser to browser).

  • Make sure you log out of the website when you’ve finished browsing the site.


  • Log into a website that you arrived at from a link in an email or from an unrelated website.