How To Stay Safe Online – A Guide

by Dan

With so much information available at our fingertips, our personal data has never been at more risk. Whether you’re doing a bit of online shopping, sharing pictures with your friends and family or use the internet for your day to day business, it is important to stay alert and safe whilst online. To help those who may not know all the dangers www.myvouchercodes.co.uk have produced a handy guide to help you stay safe online, and to ensure that your personal details don’t get into the wrong hands.

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What should you watch out for?

Phishing

Do not click on links from emails or text messages from people you don’t know especially if they prompt you to enter your account details. Most companies, such as banks and online payment systems will not ask you to enter your account, bank or password details and if they do it is probably an online scam.

Email addresses

Be wary of emails that contain links,before doing anything check the email address of the sender, if it does not follow the standard address of company or has bad grammar or spelling mistakes, this could indicate that it is not from the actual company at all and will lead to a phishing scam.

Social media

With the boom of social media over the past few years, we are now seeing a sharp increase of phishing scams targeting these networks. So, it is important to check what personal details you share with other people. Ensure that you have set up your security settings properly and always use longer passwords that are not tied to your name, date of birth etc.

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URLs

Check that the links in emails or from other websites are correct before you clicking on them even if you trust the source. Secure sites will have https:// at the beginning of the URL; the S stands for security, meaning that they have been encrypted and decrypted to prevent unauthorised access to your data.

Fake sites

If you’re using a website for the first time that requires you to fill in personal details or bank numbers it is important to research it to make sure it can be trusted.Search for any warnings, reviews and recommendations before inputting any of your personal details or bank account numbers.

How do you protect yourself online?

Passwords

passwords for all your online accounts should be unique and made up of a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. They should not contain your name, age or date of birth as these are easier to guess.Also ensure that any computers or laptops have passwords to access them too.

Privacy settings

A wide range of websites and social media account now offer privacy settings to protect your data;this allows you to control what personal information people can see about you.

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Protect your devices

Using malware and anti-virus software and apps on all of your devices is more important than ever. In addition, always use a secure Wi-Fi connection when shopping online and avoid using Wi-Fi networks in public places when online banking, emailing and shopping.

Payment

When shopping online you should always use secure payment methods and check your statements frequently for suspicious activity. Use a credit card when purchasing something worth more than £100 as it gives you legal rights under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. You can also use a pre-paid card instead of your actual debit card for extra protection.

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Downloads

Only download files and apps from trusted sources and not 3rd party websites, and always make sure you readthe permissions and accesses carefully. Make sure malware and anti-virus software is set up on all of your devices to monitor downloads.

Chris Reilly, General Manager of MyVoucherCodes had this to say about the guide:

“With so many people conducting their lives online now, it’s more important than ever to understand what security issues you can face and what you need to do, to protect yourself. People can come under attack from many different avenues, so everyone needs to be vigilant and understand what measures they need to take to protect themselves and their personal data online.”

He added:

“Users are offered levels of protection when shopping online, with security on site and security offered by using credit cards for example. However criminals are finding new ways to steal your money, which is why we have seen a rise in phishing. This is where criminals glean important details from unsuspecting people, when posing as banks etc. which can lead to people losing thousands of pounds and leaving them with a lengthy battle to get their money back.”

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Staying safe online has never been more important, and we hope that this guide will make you think twice about your internet security, and how to spot potential threats when online.

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