Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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4 tips for keeping your money safe online

We move our money through the internet on an almost daily basis, from shopping on our mobile phones and playing online games to making monthly payments and transferring between bank accounts. The digital landscape has streamlined and speeded up money management, but using online systems carries the risk of your cash being stolen by hackers.

Explore the precautions you should take when spending and moving money around online to safeguard your funds against theft.

Keep your details private

Most importantly, you must keep your details private from others unless you’re sure they’re trustworthy. The government launched a major campaign to fight fraud in 2024 following an increase in cases of cybercrime, reminding residents to ‘Stop! Think Fraud’ before acting on emails and text messages requesting personal details.

Cybercriminals are clever at coming up with ways to trick you into confiding your private details. Examples include masquerading as familiar companies, making urgent demands like the common SMS parcel delivery scams and creating temptation with special offers.

Remember that legitimate organisations will never ask you to share your private information online. You should also carefully check the sender details of suspicious emails and texts: the email address or mobile number is usually a giveaway in attempted hacks.

Ensure sites are secure

Whether you are buying a new outfit, putting down a deposit when playing a game of online bingo on your mobile or splashing out on a significant investment, ensure sites are secure before inputting your name, address and card details.

You can tell a site is secure by checking the URL: it should show ‘https’ at the beginning, with the ‘s’ standing for secure. This tells you that the site has a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate and all data communicated from your browser to their platform is encrypted.

Use a strong password

Most trustworthy websites will ask you to create a login with a password before you direct money through their platform. This helps to verify valid internet users and weed out machine- or human-led hacking attempts.

Always use a strong password, no matter the website or how much you’re spending. Strong passwords have a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols, and should not relate to any aspects of your personal life such as your name and date of birth.

Don’t click unfamiliar links

Lastly, make sure you don’t click unfamiliar links without first checking if the request is from a reliable source. If you input information via these links, your hackers will gain valuable personal details and potentially access to your accounts.

Always take time to verify the sender details and hover over the link to see the URL without opening it in your browser. If in doubt, double-check with a phone call.

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