The following advice was recently published in the finance section of a National newspaper. It lists 6 important points worthy of highlighting:
- Be vigilant. It is a chore but checking your bank statements regularly is essential. Call the bank if unsure about a transaction. Also use a credit checking agency for a one-off free check to ensure no one is using your personal information to set up loans. Agencies include Experian, Equifax and Callcredit.
- Stay safe with anti-virus software. Although it can be free, consider paying approximately £40 a year for security covering a variety of gadgets. Do not be tempted by “pop-up windows” offering security – these can be a scam. Accept security software updates as they provide ongoing protection.
- Use a strong password for any online accounts. Picture imaging can help for codes but also consider password manager software.
- Do not share personal information. Social media may be fun but it is a great place for fraudsters to obtain your private details – photos, birthdays,holidays – that when pieced together can compromise your financial security
- Be wary of public wi-fi. Fruadsters can hack into it – often offered in cafes or train – to see what you are doing on your laptop or smartphone. Be wary of making payments or accessing bank details when unsure of a connection. Some fraudsters even mimic public wi-fi to get your details.
- Do not trust websites without first checking the suffix. Fraudsters can steal details and money through bogus websites. They may look official but the final letters often give a clue with regards to authentication. Some fraudulent sites have used ‘co.com’ suffix when the real one is ‘co.uk’. The prefix is worth checking out too. An ‘https’ prefix shows a website that is more secure than one that starts with just ‘http’. The code ‘https’ stands for ‘hypertext transfer protocol secure’
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