Internet Safety

We've put together a useful guide on internet safety. 

Online crime has increasingly become a growing concern for internet users with perhaps not enough awareness being raised of the potential threats and knowledge of increased internet scams. In response to this we have put together a useful guide on internet safety to boost your internet knowledge so you are vigilant and have pleasant and safe experiences surfing online.

Potential Online Threats

Phishing? Identify fraud? Fake websites? Investment opportunities? What does this all mean?
• Phishing
Phishing emails are scams designed to steal your money or personal identity. A phishing email may appear to have come from your bank or someone in your email address book. They may look very convincing as they appear to have an official logo in the message. They may direct you to make a phone call or to a dangerous website asking you to verify your account number and personal history.
• Identity fraud
Identity fraud is when a scammer gets hold of your personal details and uses them without your knowledge or agreement. In identity fraud fraudsters can use your identity to open bank accounts, take out loans or state benefits, or even order goods in your name
• Fake websites
Fake websites will look and resemble websites of banks or established brands but are in actual fact set up to steal your money or personal identity. Sometimes these websites will ask for your personal details and sell fake goods
• Investment opportunities
Investment opportunities are when you are contacted out of the blue to buy shares in a company you have never even heard of. These are also known as 'boiler room scams' where you may be asked to buy shares in a company that doesn't exist. Before buying shares you should check that the firm you are buying from is authorised by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

Tips for Safe Internet Use

With the associated risks of online threats in mind see below the tips on safe internet use:
• Use your common sense to see if the website looks safe and genuine
• Avoid giving out personal details and sharing personal information
• Check that the website is authentic to see if there are genuine contact details
• A website using a secure link will have a padlock in the browser window or have 'HTTPS' written at the beginning of a web address
• Websites that require all of your details or more information than you would usually give out are most likely to be malicious
• Ensure that you take the time to create a strong password which cannot easily be guessed and regularly change it for security purposes
• Do not make investment decisions without seeking professional guidance first
• Make sure you have antivirus security software installed that updates automatically