We have never had so much information at our fingertips, however we have also never had our personal information more exposed. Whether you’re shopping online, sharing pictures and photos with friends or family or doing day to day business online, it has never been more important to stay alert and safe online. With this in mind www.myvouchercodes.co.uk have produced an online safety guide to help you keep safe and protected, ensuring your personal details don’t fall into the wrong hands.
What to watch out for
Phishing – Do not follow links from email, or texts which prompt you to enter your account details. Most companies, especially banks and PayPal, won’t email you and ask you to enter your account, bank or password details. If they do it will be a phishing scam.
Email addresses – When you receive an email with a link in it, check the email address of the sender, if it does not follow standard address of company or has typos, this can indicate it is not for the suggested company and will lead to a phishing scam.
Social media – With the rise of social media, we also have phishing scams targeting these networks. It’s important you be careful about what personal details you share. In addition, ensure you have set your security settings to the highest level and use passwords which are not tied to your name etc.
URLs – Check links from emails or other websites are correct before you click through, even if you trust the email or social network. Secure sites have https:// in the URL, with the S for security, this means they have been encrypted and decrypted to prevent unauthorised access to user data.
Fake sites – If you’re using a website for the first time, research to ensure it can be trusted, search for warnings, reviews and recommendations before you input any personal details or bank details.
Passwords – Your passwords for your online accounts should be unique, made up of letters, numbers and symbols and not contain details such as your name, age or date of birth. Phrases are a good recommendation instead and you can also opt for two step login such as also prompting a code to be sent to your mobile phone before you can complete the login process.
Privacy settings – Privacy settings can be set up for your social media accounts. This allows you to keep control of what personal information people can see about you. In addition never share personal details about your family and friends online.
Devices – Using malware and virus detecting software on all of your devices is important. Ensure your computers and laptops have password protection as well as all your mobile devices. In addition always use secure Wi-Fi connections when shopping online, avoid Wi-Fi in public places when using online banking, email and shopping.
Payment – When shopping online you should use secure payment methods and check your statements frequently. You should use a credit card when buying something that’s worth more than £100 as it gives you legal rights under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. Or you can use a pre-paid card instead of your debit account, transferring only the amount you need.
Downloads – Only download files and apps from trusted sources and not 3rd parties, but make sure you read permissions and accesses carefully. Make sure your malware and virus software is set up to monitor downloads.
Speaking about the guide, General Manager of MyVoucherCodes Chris Reilly said:
“With so many people conducting their lives online now, it’s more important than ever to understand what security issues you can face and what you need to do, to protect yourself. People can come under attack from many different avenues, so everyone needs to be vigilant and understand what measures they need to take to protect themselves and their personal data online.”
“Users are offered levels of protection when shopping online, with security on site and security offered by using credit cards for example. However criminals are finding new ways to steal your money, which is why we have seen a rise in phishing. This is where criminals glean important details from unsuspecting people, when posing as banks etc. which can lead to people losing thousands of pounds and leaving them with a lengthy battle to get their money back.”