1. Think before you click
Pop-ups and email links are often a way for scammers to gain access to your online accounts and information. Don’t fall to the fraudsters - take a moment to consider how credible the website, company or person is sending you these online prompts.
2. If in doubt, don’t download
Attachments are a key way hackers infiltrate your desktop to spread viruses, corrupt your files and access your information. Be wary of unexpected emails prompting you to open unknown attachments.
3. Too good to be true?
It probably is! Voucher scams are on the rise and have been circulating on social media and online chat platforms, with Whatsapp a notable recent example. However tempting the offer looks, if you haven’t entered a competition its unlikely to be a credible offer. Don’t click and instead report the message to the online platform you are using.
4. If you don’t use it, lose it
Whether it is your old Myspace profile, a subscription to a dating website or an online shopping account you don’t use any longer, delete old online accounts and profiles that hold your personal information.
5. Look for the lock
Use familiar sites to shop online and never purchase an item on a site unless it has the “https” and a padlock icon to the left or right of the URL. Check your statements on a regular basis to ensure the correct amount has been deducted and that it is going to the correct place.
This follows a 2016 report by Barclays which revealed that UK confidence is particularly low when it comes to protecting data and devices. Brits are less likely to keep their phones and laptops secure than those in Brazil, South Africa or China, posing a potential risk of data leaks in the coming years as cyber hackers find increasingly sophisticated ways to access data.