Posted by Nicole on 7th Mar 2019

Online Safety isn’t something to take as a risk. It is something that is an issue for adults as well as children and we must do the best we can to ensure we are not vulnerable to situations like fraud, identity theft and phishing.

Fraud is deliberate deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain. It can take the form of fraudulent letters, emails, telephone calls and faxes. It’s a common way for criminals to attempt to steal your money. Identity fraud is a similar concept, where a person steals your identity to obtain goods or services or to open a bank account, obtain credit cards, loans and state benefits, taking over existing accounts and obtaining genuine documents such as passports and driving licences in your name.

Identity Theft is when a person’s personal details are stolen, whether the person is dead or alive. They can do this in many ways including; finding bank/credit card statements or tax information in your post or trash, from your wallet or purse by taking your driving license, or credit or bank cards, and also from sharing your personal information on unsecured websites, in some cases, fraudsters may even skim your credit card information when you make a purchase.

Phishing is a common trick to gain personal information. This includes sending emails or creating sites that appear to be from a legitimate company and asking you to confirm personal information, such as bank account numbers, passwords, birth dates or addresses.

When it comes to protecting yourself whilst online shopping, here are the DO’S;

DO keep your privacy settings as high as possible.

DO check the company’s privacy policy before buying.

DO be sure to keep a close eye on your account activity when using a credit card for online shopping. If you notice purchases that you haven’t made, contact your card company immediately.

DO use these tips when creating an account password; 8 or more characters, numbers as well as letters, special characters like %*@?, and both upper and lowercase letters.

DO keep your virus software and virus protection up to date.

DO look out for some of the tell signs that a website is secure e.g. padlock symbol before the website in the address bar, if you click on this padlock, you will be able to see a valid certificate, https:// at the beginning of the website address, and on certain browsers and websites, the address or address bar will turn green.

When it comes to protecting yourself whilst online shopping, here are the DON’TS;

DON’T post personal information online e.g. address, email address, phone number and bank details.

DON’T give out your passwords.

DON’T use the same passwords, if one account is hacked, the rest of your accounts are then vulnerable.

DON’T use any personal information that are easy for others to guess i.e. child/pet/spouses name, your birth date, your favourite sports team etc.

DON’T use public wifi, as these networks are usually unsecure.

We here at WatchO like to make sure our customers are taken care of and are kept aware of the common threats that many people face. STAY SAFE!