6 simple steps to protect yourself from phishing scams and cybercriminals
Recently we have had several clients ringing us after falling victim to phishing scams, so after repeating our advice I decided to write it out and hope it helps before any more clients become victims to the harsh world of cybercrime. The cyber age is bringing a whole new round of challenges security, with many finding it near impossible to tell the difference between legitimate e-commerce and cybercrime.
Clients have reported having phone calls from someone claiming to be computer support from a relatively trusted tech company or telecommunications company and they try to obtain remote access to computers. These phone calls and emails are being mimicked to look like requests for information however they are the newest ploy from cybercriminals.
Jason and I put a list together of 6 simple ways to protect yourself and your personal and financial information in today’s progressively digital age.
1. Stay informed
The government has a Stay Smart Online Alert Service which you can register for, it lets you know about the new digital scams as they emerge and they also regularly offer helpful tips for staying safe online.
2. Be cautious when asked for information
If requests are made for personal information be wary, if you are being asked for personal information over email or text message that suggests they are not coming from a trusted company and should be treated with caution. You can always call the company through its trusted contact methods and ask for confirmation that the request for information is legitimate.
3. Avoid using public Wi-Fi
Apart from being a way for cybercriminals to pass viruses between devices on unprotected networks they are also able to spy and interfere with your browsing. Sometimes cybercriminals set up Wi-Fi hotspots as a trap to access devices.
If you must use public Wi-Fi, make sure it is encrypted and you have an anti-virus software on your device. Also try to refrain from accessing sensitive online accounts such as banks whilst connected to public Wi-Fi.
4. Avoid using public computers
For the same reasons above public computers can be used as a ploy to gain information, if you do need to use public computers ensure you are logged out from all accounts at the end of your sessions and clear your browsing history, you can search google for instructions on how to remove your browsing data from the specific web browser you were using.
5. Don’t post personal information to social media
The more personal information you share on social media the easier it is for cybercriminals to access. Be sure to keep your details vague and keep your privacy settings high. Choose to post things to friends and not the whole world. Try not to reveal personal details in online comments or the like, would you really want everyone to know your house is going to be empty whilst you are discussing your overseas holiday?
6. Use your bank’s security features
Most banks and other secure online accounts offer several layers of security but these aren’t mandatory and you have to enable and set up these features however doing so helps keep you protected.