Friday, 13 March 2020

Tips For Ensuring Your Online Safety




With online fraud increasingly featuring in the headlines, and hacking attempts on businesses both small and large becoming more aggressive, what can be done to help keep your system safe?

We've all read about cyber attacks, and 'ransom' hacks on companies and organisations, but it's not just the large corporations that are under threat. It's recently been reported that online 'phishing' scams involving TV license fraud or scammers posing as companies have become increasingly common and sadly too many people are falling for these scams.

How can you help prevent these attacks and keep your information safe? Here's my top 4 tips to help beat the scammers;

1) Are they who they say they are?

It seems obvious but sadly too many people are falling for fraudulent emails claiming to be from their bank, the Inland Revenue, Paypal, TV Licensing or a utility company.

These companies will never ask for your details via emails. It's also highly unlikely they would email and not write to customers-if it seems fishy it probably is. 

Never open an email you feel may be fraudulent, and if you do open one by accident, never click on any provided links. It may seems painfully apparent to follow the above procedures but a moment of letting your guard down can have dire consequences. If you know anyone who is not so web savvy, help them out and warn them of the scams, help prevent financial heartache, and stop lining the criminals pockets.

2) How safe is your, and your customers, information?

It's not just your finances criminals are after, customers information can be very valuable. Online encryption software can help prevent criminals getting their hands on financial and personal information. 

By now, we're all pretty familiar with the 'lock' icon when making purchases online, which is great for helping to provide peace of mind for buyers, but what if you're a seller and need to look after your customer base? Fortunately there are many specialist companies that can provide specialist software for small businesses. Check out https://www.northamericanbancard.com/features/security for specialist software to help businesses keep their customers safe.

3) Choose your passwords wisely

Ok, so it may be online security 101 but it's amazing how many of us slip in to the pattern of using the same password across many systems. It may seem daunting trying to remember 10 different passwords for 10 different systems but using one across many is a scammers dream. Remember, most online criminals won't just target one aspect of your online presence, they'll go after anything they can.

With strong  passwords you can prevent many scams or hacking attempts.

Keep them simple but varied and never disclose, or write them down.

4) Make good use of anti viral software.

There are dozens of great quality anti malware and anti virus software programmes out there, some are free and many cost very little money. It's worth doing your homework and researching the best, most suitable system for your needs.

A little time spent researching, and comparing what is provided can go a long way to prevent financial loss or a corrupted system. PC's are expensive to replace or repair, so a little time can be a worthwhile investment.

An online virus can mirror a real world biological counter part and evolve easily, so it's worth keeping your software up to date with the latest updates from your provider. 

The main thing you can do is use common sense. If an offer or email seems to good to be true, it probably is and alarm bells should start ringing at the prospect of investing in get rich quick schemes or offers. 

How do you stay safe online? Have you ever fallen for a scam or know anyone who has? Sharing tips and information can help prevent fraud or scams and keep people safe, sharing really is caring!



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