How To Avoid Online Scams During Coronavirus

During these extraordinary times, it’s important for you and your family to stay safe in person and online. Unfortunately fraudulent activity is up significantly with criminals using emails, text messages, social media posts, online advertisements and phone calls to defraud their unsuspecting victims.

Here we have some great tips & advice on how you can avoid online scams and stay safe online during Coronavirus.

Emails

How do you know that emails you receive are genuine? Can you spot if they are fraudulent, with the intention of getting bank details from you, or sending you to copycat websites to steal your details?

Here’s a few points to consider when opening items that land in your Inbox:

  1. Check emails for spelling mistakes and poor grammar – a good indicator that the person writing them may not be who they claim to be.
  2. Does the email ask you to click onto a link? Why? Do you need to click on that link?
  3. Roll your cursor over the sender’s name (without clicking) to display the address that it was sent from. If it looks unusual or unofficial it may very well be a fraudulent email.
  4. If you are in any doubt – delete suspect emails & do not click on links or attachments in any suspicious email.
  5. Never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for your personal or financial details.

Websites

Be cautious when visiting websites. The following are quick ways to research a site before making a purchase:

  1. Check for the padlock symbol next to the web address (URL) at the top of the screen.
  2. Clicking on the padlock will display the security information for that site. Try clicking on the padlock at the top of this Penny Post page now, so see the ‘Connection is secure’ information.
  3. The web address itself should also start with ‘https’ to indicate a secure site.

For more information on how to shop online safely, please visit ActionFraud here.

Protect your devices

Are all your devices protected? You may access the internet using a variety of devices – laptops, desktop computers, tablets and smartphones – but have you got them all covered?

  1. Always install the latest software and app updates to protect your devices from the latest threats. For information on how to update your devices, visit the National Cyber Security Centre here.
  2. Installing anti-virus software across all your devices will help protect you wherever and whenever you are shopping online. This software checks for programmes and viruses designed to snoop on you browsing, disable your device or even steal sensitive data such as account details and passwords. For more information read the Which guide for choosing antivirus software here.
  3. Ensure that your internet browser (eg Google Chrome, Firefox) is up to date by installing the most recent security updates.

The National Cyber Security Centre has information for individuals and families on keeping ourselves ‘cyber secure’. Click here to read more.

Please note that Penny Post will never email you asking for your passwords – no reputational company should ever ask for passwords.

Be aware and take care to avoid online scams during Coronavirus.