If you are still getting to grips with using the web, you will need to be extra wary of online crooks and viruses. Online scams are getting more and more crafty (particularly among older users), which means staying safe on the internet has never been more important. If you don’t know your escape key from your copy and paste, here are some of the ways you can stay smart online.
7 tips on staying safe online
- Make strong passwords
- Install security software
- Be wary of online scams
- Only shop on reliable sites
- Stay safe on social media
- Be careful with any offers that seem too good to be true
- Speak out
Make strong passwords
Making strong usernames and passwords is a vital part of staying secure online. For whatever website you use, using a complicated password with numbers and symbols will prevent the wrong person getting their mitts on your personal or payment information. This means never, ever make your password ‘password’.
Install security software
Installing anti-virus software is one of the most fool-proof ways to stay safe on the internet. Keep your computer up to date, protect your computer with a firewall, and you have a much smaller chance of catching a pesky virus.
Be wary of online scams
If you receive a suspicious email asking for your personal information, take extra care. You can usually spot an email scam if there are spelling mistakes, unusual requests to send money or an emotional plea to send money to a fake person in need.
Only shop on reliable sites
Don’t browse any websites that you can’t trust. These can be quite tough to spot, but it’s always a good idea to look for reviews of a website if something looks a bit fishy. Whatever you do, don’t put your payment information in until you are sure about the reliability of a website.
Stay safe on social media
Everything you decide to post on social media will be visible to people online. You can decide who sees your content, but it’s probably best practice to never post personal information like your address, payment info, or grocery list.
Be careful with any offers that seem too good to be true
If you see a pop up that congratulates you for winning millions of pounds, chances are it might not be true. Becoming a millionaire would be nice, but try not to fall for the trap of entering any details.
If you are ever in doubt about a suspicious interaction online, don’t be afraid to ask for help! Getting a second opinion from a tech-savvy child or grandchild could be what saves you from a crafty internet scam.
The internet is great for a lot of reasons, but it can be a dangerous place if you don’t know how to spot potential scams. If you have any concerns about your safety, get in contact with a loved one or report a scam to Action Fraud.