Stay safe online

The digital world has opened doors and allows people to connect and engage like never before. With so many ways to connect online, there are unfortunately scammers online who are looking for opportunities to trick people out of their money.

Keeping yourself safe online is an important skill; things change and new scams pop up all over the place.

Here are our top tips to keep yourself safe online.

1. Keep your phone and computer secure and up-to-date
Keep your computer, mobile, iPad, iWatch and whatever else you access the internet on up-to-date and use reputable anti-virus software to run virus scans and keep your devices safe. If a security upgrade notification becomes available, install the update as soon as you’re able.

2. Only use secure networks and devices
Avoid using public computers or Wi-Fi hotspots to access or provide personal information, especially if it’s to do with your money. Don’t conduct any financial transactions on public computers or over public Wi-Fi. These networks aren’t secure and can be a target for identity theft and login and other information.

3. Keep your PIN and passwords safe
Keep you PIN and passwords private and make them hard to guess. Don’t write the details down. Use strong passwords that have a combination of letters, numbers and special charters. Use unique passwords for each login; don’t use the same password across social media accounts and internet banking.

4. Check out the website security
Before transacting, make sure you’re on a secure website. It should have ‘https’ at the start of the website address and a padlock symbol in the top right hand corner. You can check the security certificate by clicking on the padlock.

5. Email safety
Never respond to an email asking you to update your details or passwords – login to the secure website if you need to make any changes. Do not click on links in unsolicited emails. Be careful with email attachments, if you’re not expecting something from someone then you should check with the sender before clicking on the document.

6. Be careful on social media
Don’t post personal identifying details that can be used to gather information. Amend your privacy settings in social media accounts to private, and only accept requests from people you know.

Online scams are constantly evolving, so check on Scamwatch and the Australian Cyber Security Centre website regularly for updates.

Please note this article provides general information only. To best determine how to protect your online environment please take into account what is in your best interests and consider obtaining appropriate professional advice.

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