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Using computers, tablets and mobile phones to go online has made everyday activities such as keeping in touch, social media, shopping and paying bills easy and fast. Although there are many risks out there which are crucial to be aware of.

Stay safe online

Top 10 tips to stay safe online
– When shopping, paying or banking online, always make sure the website is secure. If you have been sent account details, double check by phone if these are correct and have come from the appropriate person you think they have.
– Make sure your computer has up-to-date internet security software, switched on.
– Don’t reveal personal information on social networking sites such as twitter and facebook.
– Don’t forget to back up smartphone/tablets and computers quite regularly
– NEVER reveal your password or PIN when asked either by email or by phone.
– Make sure your WIFI is secure at all times.
– Be careful who you are selling to and buying from on auction sites.
– Choose strong passwords, change them regularly and don’t tell anybody what they are.
– Always download the latest software and operating system updates when prompted.
– Remember smartphones and tablets are also a target for viruses.

Making you sure you stay safe via email

Email is a great tool to communicate and inform others. However it is regularly used to deliver unwanted content, sometime just annoying but often it can be malicious, causing harm to your computer or even yourself.

Phishing emails
Phishing is a scam criminals typically send emails to thousands of people and pretend to come from banks, credit card companies, online shops, as well as other trusted organisations. What normally happens is they try and make you click on a link and go to a website to change/ update your password. It normally takes you to a dummy website which is almost identical to the real thing, trying to trick you in entering your personal information.

The email often looks as if it comes from a genuine email address or person. Below are some of the things that you should look out for::
– The sender’s email address is different from the trusted organisation’s website address.
– The email is sent from a completely different address.
– The email doesn’t use your name, but uses a non-specific salutation such as “Dear customer.”
– The email comes with a sense of urgency; for example; if you don’t act immediately your account may be closed.
– If there is a prominent website link and not much, if any text.
– When asked for personal information such as your username, password or bank details.
– When you are not expecting an email from the organisation that appears to have sent it.
– The entire email is one large image rather than including some sort of text and the image contains a link to a random website