Tips for staying secure online

I recently saw an infographic regarding online scams, and as this is such a current trend I thought it would be useful to share. Picked up by Gizmo Crazed, the infographic provides a breakdown of the type of different online scams that are out there, how they work, and how to avoid them.

I try to be as savvy online as I possibly can, but the infographic makes for surprising reading. I had no idea that malicious servers could filter emails for selected content-worrying and potentially dangerous when so much information today is communicated by email.

I particularly like the tips on how to avoid being scammed. The one about the spelling and grammar makes a lot of sense; and often I will just get a feeling that something might not be right about an email just from it's tone, which may be different to legitimate emails from the same brand or company. Another good tip I've found is that often, faked emails won't use your name (they probably don't know it/you aren't in the database if you haven't expressly signed up) so they'll send emails marked 'Dear user" or 'Dear customer" which in this day and age is more ambivalent than the norm.

There's also no harm in chasing up something you aren't sure about. A friend of mine recently received an email from her bank which she felt was a little odd. Before clicking through as the email suggested, she put in a quick call to the bank who advised her it was a fake. Often fraudulent emails rely on the need for urgency to try and trick you into clicking onto links and unwittingly sharing information, or by making you think you are actually rectifying a problem-I had an email recently that thanked me for making a payment (that I knew I hadn't made) and it went on to say, "didn't authorise this payment? Click here" which, if I had panicked that I had been defrauded, I might have clicked on. 

You can find out more about online scams and how to avoid them, from the Money Advice Service or from Data Label.

Online scams and how to avoid them

This is a collaborative post

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