Staying safe online is becoming increasingly difficult as cyberattacks become more sophisticated.
Whether it be impersonating someone you know or an organisation/business that you trust, cybercriminals encourage individuals to share personal or sensitive information or click on malicious web links or attachments.
Human error has been reported as the major contributing factor behind many data breaches, and scammers will look for potential weaknesses to steal personal information and tap into systems and networks.
Research has also revealed that:
- 82% of people would like a secure way to browse the internet safely, for example, shopping online or sending sensitive information with confidence.
- 59% of people surveyed say that managing their digital security is too complicated.
- 73% said they’d like a trusted brand to tell them how to stay safe online.
Top tips to help you stay safe online when it comes to online scams:
- Do some research so you know what to look out for. Citizens Advice and the government are regularly updated with the latest information.
- Never send money to anyone you don’t know personally, and never buy anything you’re unsure of.
- If you get a request for money from someone you know by text or over social media, call them at another number to check if it really is them asking and not a hacker who has stolen their phone number or hacked into their social media account.
- Look out for spelling errors, poor formatting, or messages that don’t use your name. These can be obvious signs of a scam. Remember, though, some scams are sophisticated and can look very real.
- Never share your personal or financial data, including usernames, passwords, PINs, or ID numbers.
- Don’t open email attachments or follow links unless you are 100% sure they’re safe. You can check whether a website is likely to be legitimate or fraudulent.
- Make sure your anti-virus software is up-to-date and run a scan before opening anything you’re suspicious of. Remember to protect your tablets and smartphones, which are equally vulnerable to online scams and viruses.
- Always update software, apps and operating systems when prompted or set them to update automatically.
- Think before you follow any link. If something seems too good to be true, remember that it probably is.
Fraud victim Harry encourages others to reach out for support
Harry, one of our clients, has shared his story to raise awareness around Safer Internet Day and the consequences it can have on your finances and mental well-being.
If you’re worried about your finances or struggling to keep up with debt repayments, remember PayPlan’s here to help. You can access our help in various ways including live chat via our website or by freephone on 0800 316 1833.