Unfortunately, we’re increasingly vulnerable to online fraud and cyber theft in the digital age, with purchase scams arguably posing the single biggest issue.
According to one particular study, 84% of respondents who reported an online purchase scam had engaged with this, with a worrying 47% losing money directly as a result.
Given the prevalence of cybertheft in the UK, it’s crucial that we all learn how to look after our money and personal data when browsing online. Here are some ideas to safeguard yourself online!
Some of the best and most effective steps that you can take are also the simplest, so it’s relatively easy to create an initial layer of protection when online.
- Start with the Basics
You should look to encrypt online accounts with unique and complex passwords where possible, for example, taking care not to use the same one for a number of different accounts. The reason for this is simple; as it makes it far harder for hackers to breach your defences and access your financial information online.
If you’re worried about struggling to remember a raft of different passwords, you can also use innovative apps like LastPass to securely store these in a single, accessible space.
We’d also recommend that you lock your desktop and mobile devices whenever you leave them unattended, as this also minimises the window of opportunity for opportunistic criminals offline.
- Invest in Anti-Virus Software
We live in age where speculation remains the best form of accumulation, with a number of lucrative and passive money-making opportunities now available online.
One of the best examples of this is provided by online forex trading, as the rise of virtual and mobile apps such as the MetaTrader 4 have removed many of the barriers to entry that once surrounded the marketplace.
Most reputable sites of this type are licensed by the FCA and boast 128-bit SSL encryption as a minimum requirement, but even then there are steps that you can take to safeguard yourself.
For example, we’d recommend investing in reliable anti-virus software and installing this on your personal devices, as this will provide an additional layer of protection against spyware and malware programs.
- Use Wi-Fi Wisely
4G and 5G Wi-Fi connections are abundant in the modern age, but this means that you should exercise caution when accessing private information on a public network.
After all, any number of users may be present on the public networks operated by popular coffee shops and hotel chains, creating easy access for hackers to steal high volumes of sensitive information.
The same principle applies to public computers and devices, as these entities may have various hidden spyware programs running on them at any time.
So, try to avoid connecting to public networks and devices where possible, while we’d also recommend that you don’t access your bank or PayPal account through such a network.