Since the coronavirus outbreak, we have been spending more time online.
Here are a few tips on how to keep yourself safe online.
Tips on how to create a safe password
- DON'T RESUE - Don't reuse the same password more than once. If a hacker gains access to one account, they will have access to every account using the same password.
- UNIQUE - Never use your username for your password, and avoid common phrases like 'password1'.
- VARIED CHARACTERS - Your passwords should combine upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters (.!@%?)
- AVOID PERSONAL INFORMATION = Avoid using passwords with personal information like important dates, nicknames, names of loved ones, your age etc.
- USE A PASSWORD MANAGER - A password manager, like LastPass, creates and stores secure passwords for your accounts so you don't have to remember them.
5 ways to spot a scam email
the UK is one of the most targeted nations for coronavirus scam email, check before you click
- Genuine companies don't ask for your sensitive details via email - if you receive an email providing a link and asking for sensitive information - it's a scam!
- Beware of RE: URGENT subjects - these aim to get you to react without thinking.
- Companies have domain emails - Don't just check the person sending the email, check the email by hovering your mouse over the 'from' address. No legitimate organisation will contact you from an address ending in @gmail.com or @hotmail for example.
- Forcing you to a website or click attachment - sometimes a scam email is made so clicking on any part of the message will open a fake webpage or download spam onto your computer - check before you click!
- Make sure that any phone numbers in the email match those on the website of the company spending the email.
What to do if you suspect an online scam or fraud
If you get any suspicious emails forward them to firstname.lastname@example.org so the National Cyber Security Centre can test the website they link to and remove it if it is a scam
If you have been a victim of an online scam or fraud, this needs to be reported to Action Fraud: actionfraud.police.uk or 0300 123 2040
Cyber Secure Online Shopping Checklist
- Research the company you are buying from to check that they're legitimate.
- Check that the site that you're shopping on is secure - look for a padlock in the website's address bar - this means the information you are sending to the website, like your card details, is secure.
- Use the latest version of your internet browser and make sure your software and apps are up to date. This includes antivirus software - to protect you against the latest threats.
- Monitor your bank and credit card activity for any suspicious purchases
- Use strong passwords
- Click on the link in unsolicited emails
- Ignore your browser if it tells you a website is insecure
- Be tempted to buy goods with prices that are too low or too good to be true
- Purchase goods from sites that do not have a return or refund policy