At one time, the biggest fear many people had was having their home broken into or their car stolen. And while these concerns haven’t gone away, another threat has joined the list – having your identity stolen online and suffering from fraud. So, what can you do to stop this from happening to you?
How it happens
One of the issues that authorities face with this type of crime is that there’s no single way it happens. Online fraud takes a wide range of forms and is often easy to spot but also equally likely to be sophisticated and clever. The impact on someone financially and emotionally from such fraud can be massive and disrupt their entire lives and that of their families.
There are lots of ways we can experience online fraud. Common systems include through false emails or text message scams as well as when websites are hacked, and their customer information stolen. Sending important data over insecure internet connections is another potential point of weakness.
How to prevent online fraud
While there’s no 100% certain way to ensure you are never a victim of identity theft or online fraud, there are steps you can take to make yourself more secure and reduce the risk.
Use smart passwords and protect them
With software that can collect information on us from all over the place, thieves have become better at getting passwords that use words and numbers of relevance. So, using smart passwords and protecting them with password vaults is a good move.
Only use secure sites for money transactions
Make sure you only use a page with a padlock on it when you are entering bank and card information. Sites such as Amazon, gambling sites such as NetBet Casino and supermarket sites all have examples of this kind of security. Or if offered, use payment processors such as Stripe or PayPal where you don’t give the merchant your information.
Never click if you aren’t sure
The email about the tax refund, the ‘prize’ you have won or the Facebook message supposedly from a friend with a link in for something you have to see – these are all tactics used by fraudsters to gain your information. So never click a link unless you are sure it is genuine and use anti-virus software to check downloads.
Keep everything up to date
All software needs to be updated and by not updating it, you can allow vulnerabilities that can be exploited. So always update your desktop, laptop, smartphone or other devices to protect yourself and ensure you aren’t leaving a door open.