The Law Shop is now closed. Please click here to find out more.

Your Rights and Staying Safe Online

There are a number of threats to your security online. This section tells you how to avoid those threats, and what rights you have to do so.

The law has generally been quite slow in keeping up with technological advances, but in the years since the internet rose to prominence, the UK has gradually accumulated a body of laws and protections for internet users.

This section can tell you a little more about your rights and protections online, as well as the obligations that online services providers have to you.

Cookie Law

Unfortunately, cookie law is not as delicious as it sounds. Cookies are small files that websites put onto your computer or other device to measure your activity on the site, make various parts of the site work, display adverts, and various other uses.

The cookie law is a measure introduced by the EU back in 2012, in a bid to make websites give their users more information on the cookies that they used and make sure that users consented to receiving them.

In our Cookie Law section, we have more information about the law, and, more importantly, how you can restrict and remove the cookies on your machine.

Keeping your identity safe online

“Careless talk costs lives”, or so they say, and careless browsing or typing can also cause you a great deal of grief.

As internet users have become more savvy, cyber-criminals have had to step up their collective game, and the internet has become fraught with even more danger as a result, with viruses, malware and phishing emails becoming more sophisticated.

Fortunately, your protections have improved too – there are more virus protection options, and organisations such as banks are also taking extra steps to keep you informed about the online perils that you should avoid. You can learn what you need to know in our Keeping Your Identity Safe Online section.

We also have helpful tips about what you shouldn’t be sharing on Facebook and Twitter – not unless you want your house to be broken into.

Your rights when your identity is stolen

If the worst comes to the worst and you do have your credit card details stolen, it can be catastrophic – you could see all of the money disappear from your account, used to buy goods or services you neither want nor will receive, or simply spirited away into the account of some criminal.

However, if this happens, help may be at hand. Your bank may refund the money if it cannot prove that you were at fault for an unauthorised transaction.

This section can tell you what you need to know about your rights when your identity is stolen, and what you can do if the bank refuses to refund the money to you.

Encryption law

Encryption is a way of keeping data protected from unauthorised eyes. It is used to keep your personal information and data safe – in fact, the page that you are reading these words on was sent to you through an encrypted connection.

Whenever you buy something online, or whenever you lock your phone, you are most likely taking advantage of encryption.

However, while encryption has a number of good uses, it is maligned by governments and security services who believe encryption makes it easier for terrorists and other criminals to evade discovery and carry out terrible acts.

Our section on Encryption Law explains more about what encryption is, and how the law on encryption continues to evolve.

Other legal topics that may interest you