Simple Steps to Keep You Safe Online
The use of the internet for shopping and banking transactions has increased dramatically over the past ten years and it does not only include the younger generation; the internet was originally developed in the 1950s but was widely available to the worldwide community in the mid-1990s; that means that many of us has been using the internet for over 15 years now; it is part of our normal activities and has made our life easier by allowing us instant information and immediate communication (email, messenger, phone calls, blogs, etc). The radical impact on the commercial world has made many companies go bust; but only those that did not have the technology and knowledge to take advantage of this wonderful tool. New opportunities are now open to all of us; it is easier to set up an online business as it does not require a lot of investment other than a good server provider and training costs in many cases.
While it is true that the use of the internet to purchase products and online banking is extremely convenient, it is also true that many unscrupulous people have taken advantage to scam people out of millions of dollars; this is a serious problem that increases day after day, and although there are many things we can do to avoid a deceitful transaction, we still feel vulnerable. Get to know the main tips to have a safe and happy online shopping and make sure your bank transactions are the ones you have authorised.
Tip 1: Avoid Public Access Computers
Do not access your online banking or buy items on computers available in libraries, school or cyber cafes; all workstation normally store every single search or transaction you have done; even if you delete the history, there is the possibility of spywares already installed and recording your details.
Tip 2: Close your Session
Make sure your email account has been closed properly by signing out and trying to access your email provider again; many computers remember your username and in some cases the password entered. If you have decided to use online banking, always make sure to delete the history (tools – Clear Recent History).
Tip 3: Be Wary of Phishing Emails
Your bank or Credit Card Company will never send you an email with a link to access your account online; they will normally ask you to access it as you normally do it. In the last five years the number of identity theft has increased dramatically thanks to viruses and spywares installed by clicking on links sent by cyber criminals.
Tip 4: Frequently Update your Antivirus, Antispyware and Firewall
If possible you should include automatic updates for your security software, as the number of new viruses is phenomenal; also make sure you have an updated copy in a disk, the latest spyware actually interferes with many antivirus such as McAfee. The antispyware is able to detect programs that are trying to collect the passwords that you normally use.
Tip 5: Use Common Sense
- Delete dodgy emails
- Learn your password and pin, never ever write it down or store it on your computer.
- Use strong password (combination of letters and numbers)
- Do not use your name, surname or date of birth as your password.
- Avoid money laundering scams