The internet is a fantastic tool to expand your business, connect across borders and stay in touch with clients. Unfortunately, it is also a tool exploited for criminal gain. Criminals are becoming more sophisticated with scams and hacking techniques. With a global workforce now based at home, online safety precautions are becoming all the more important.
Our experts have prepared these tips to help you and your organization protect yourself from online fraud:
- Do not respond to phone calls about your computer asking for remote access, even if a reputable company is mentioned. Criminals will request remote access to your computer under the guise of assisting you to fix a problem or offer a free upgrade, however, they with go about installing a virus which will give them access to your passwords and personal information.
- Banks do not send emails or text messages that ask for personal information such as account, ID numbers and pins. They will also not require you to verify account information in this manner. Should you ever receive an email purporting to be from your bank, delete it immediately and do not click on any links on that mail.
- If you want to contact your bank call them on a verified number.
- Watch out for phishing scams. Phishing scams use fraudulent emails and websites used by criminals in the hope of tricking recipients into disclosing their personal information in fraudulent online platforms. Don't reply to these emails, or open any attachments from untrusted sources - Always be attentive when opening emails and attachments. If you are worried about what is alleged, use your own contact details to contact the service provider.
- Do not share passwords, and do not leave any documents that contain your passwords in an unsecured area. Change your passwords regularly and make them complicated for better protection. Do not use the same password for all your accounts and devices.
- Ensure that your computer and your network are always protected with regularly updated antivirus software.
- Ensure that your operating system and browsers are also constantly updated in order to provide an additional defence against threats.
- Make sure any online commerce/ shopping site you use has protective technology in place. When you are about to check out, verify the URL web address to ensure that it begins with https (that s is for secure) there must also be a tiny padlock symbol in the browser bar.
- Do not do your banking on a public or unfamiliar computer found at libraries, internet cafes and hotels or when contacted to public WiFi or hotspots.
Online fraud can affect people of any age, protect yourself from online scams with the above tips and remain vigilant with how your personal data is distributed.