According to the government, the UK loses approximately £27 billion a year through cybercrime fraud. Powered by increasingly more malicious malware and the culture of social media, cybercrime is becoming an epidemic. And it could cost you a lot of money.
But how do you keep your identity safe while you’re online?
Don’t Click On Unexpected Links
Mainly, PCs get infected with malware by users clicking on a link or opening an email attachment – true story. Beware phishing emails. Chuck all spam in the bin without opening the email. You really don’t want what they’re selling.
Use Many Passwords
If you have only one password in your repertoire, it acts as a key that opens all of your important online data if it falls in the wrong hands. Contain the damage by creating many passwords that are complex and include numbers and symbols.
Use Anti-Virus Software
The very first thing you should do, once you’ve bought a new computer or laptop, is install anti-virus software to protect yourself. It acts as armour against all the online nasties out there. They certainly don’t protect you fully, by any means, but they’re worth the cash.
Don’t Make Friends with Strangers
We’ve all received friend requests from Facebook and LinkedIn stalkers (“you have a perty face”). When in doubt, block. These people can be fraudster scouts, attempting to find out all of your details.
Look For The Padlock
Only ever shop on sites that are secure. You need to look for that little padlock or unbroken key symbol in the web browser to confirm this. The site should go from http to https. If this changes back to http, once you’ve logged on, don’t make your purchase.
Learn From Your Mistakes
If you’ve been a victim of fraud once before, don’t make the same mistake twice! Your bank may refuse to reimburse you if you have a history of being taken advantage of. This is applicable to vat fraud or any other fraud for that matter.
The bane of internet users’ lives. Ignore these annoying windows. Don’t click on anything except the exit button.
Whatever you do, don’t do anything important on public Wi-Fi or in a public space. You might as well walk around with a sign saying ‘steal my bank details.’
Ebay is a great option for someone looking for cheap goods, but you have to be very careful about what you buy. Always check the seller’s history and feedback. Try to avoid newly set-up sellers – if the deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Respect Your Own Privacy On Facebook
Access your privacy settings and shut down your timeline to anyone that isn’t a friend. You can also disable search engines from linking to your profile. Remove your personal information, especially your home address, phone number, and date of birth – this can all be used by hackers to fake your identity. Delete any Facebook apps that you don’t use, as they often share your information.