Top Tips for Internet Security
The internet can be a dangerous place sometimes. Internet scammers, hackers and confidence tricksters are finding more and more ingenious ways to separate you unwittingly from your hard-earned, and are often succeeding. With online banking fraud up 48%, and thousands of pounds scammed from regular people every day, it’s hard to know where and what is safe online anymore.
Granted, there are safe havens amidst the trickery; legitimate websites from the e-commerce, e-auction and online gaming sectors – including Bidwizeu, IdoSell and Uptown Aces respectively – take special precautions to protect your bank details, spending patterns and winnings from scammers and hackers, meaning people can play safe, and perhaps even win big on games at Uptown Aces like this – but nonetheless a level of caution is required when using the internet nowadays. So what can we do to ensure our safety, with regards to hardware, identity and bank balance, while surfing the web? Here are some top tips to keep your computer and your bank account safe from the prying eyes and grabbing hands of the internet’s most wanted…
Identify ‘Phishing’ Scams
Scam and junk mail has gotten more insidious over time, and now it can be far harder to discern whether or not the mail you’ve received is genuine. Scammers and internet confidence tricksters have started emulating emails from utilities providers and banks, which claim a system update is in progress or an emergency rebate is coming up. These emails link to a mock webpage, where you are invited to enter your bank details: this is called ‘phishing’. Spelling and grammar errors often give away the more flimsy of these emails, but some can be particularly convincing. The important thing to remember is that legitimate banks and utilities organisations never request bank details in this manner.
Be Wary of Public Networks
Public networks are perfect environments for the harvesting of important and confidential information. If you absolutely need to use public WiFi for any reason, the first thing to do is ensure the WiFi’s provenance. Scammers have been known to set up their own public networks in busy places you might expect to have one, through which they can then monitor any activity undertaken by you. If the WiFi definitely comes from the venue or location you’re at, you’re less likely to fall foul in this manner. Even after ensuring the safety of the public network, you’d be ill-advised to use it for any financial transactions or essential business, out of precaution in case the network is compromised.
The Myth of Remote Virus Removal
Another common scam involves a call centre of scammers buying phone number lists of PC users from a third party, and calling each one up with the claim that their PC has a virus and that, for a fee, it can be removed remotely by the caller. PC companies like Microsoft rarely if ever call up their customers with an offer like this; indeed, it isn’t the job of Microsoft or other companies to find and remove viruses in such a way, but rather that of the software that either came with your PC or that you’ve been prompted to buy. These calls, then, can be dismissed completely.
By taking this three top tips on board, you are sure to be far safer from identity fraud while surfing the web!