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  • Writer's pictureJames Partridge

How can I stay safe online?

No.1 – Beware of Phishing scams

This is where you get an email from what you think is a trusted retailer but it’s actually fake and when you click the link it sends you to a fake website.

To help prevent this your email spam filter might keep many phishing emails out of your inbox. But scammers are always trying to outsmart spam filters, so extra layers of protection can help. Here are four ways to protect yourself from phishing attacks.

  • Protect your computer by using security software. Set the software to update automatically so it can deal with any new security threats.

  • Protect your mobile phone by setting software to update automatically. These updates can give you critical protection against security threats.

  • Protect your accounts by using two-factor authentication. Some accounts offer extra security by requiring two or more credentials to log in to your account such as a PIN code or answer to a security question.

  • Protect your data by backing it up.

How to prevent phishing

No.2 – Are your passwords unique?

Try not to use the same password for websites, banks etc. It is much safer to choose a unique password for each website. The key aspects of a strong password are length (the longer the better); a mix of letters (upper and lower case), numbers, and symbols, no ties to your personal information, and no dictionary words.

No.3 – Is your software up to date?

It is important to keep your software up to date at all times to ensure your computer and you are protected.

No.4 – Is it secure?

When you are about to make a purchase the website address should begin HTTPS this shows that it is a secure page, it means that page has a valid encryption certificate. Any data you enter, such as your payment details, are encrypted so that they can’t be exploited by hackers.

No.5 – Debit or Credit?

Credit Cards have a higher level of protection than a debit card and they are not linked to your current account. You are more likely to be able to reclaim fraudulent activity losses through a credit card purchase than a debit card one. It’s always good to keep an eye on your accounts at this time of year so you can spot any transactions that you didn’t make as soon as they happen.

And most importantly if a deal seems too good to be true – it probably is. Take a moment and check our tips above to make sure it is the real deal.

If you think you have been a victim of fraud we recommend turning your computer off, contacting your bank and then calling us so we can check your computer for you.

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