Published on May 21, 2015 2:21 pm, by Beck Cofrancesco
In a world where identity theft is on the rise and scammers are finding new ways to trick people out of money every day, it’s really important that we all pay close attention to how much we’re sharing online. Being National Fraud Week we thought we’d share Scam Watch’s 7 tips to keep your identity safe online.
1. Keep your personal details secure
Your mail and online presence are the first place a scammer will look to piece together your details. Lock your mailbox, and shred your bills and other important documents before throwing out. Be careful sharing information about yourself online, including social media, blogs and other online forums.
MoneyBrilliant use the same security and encryption the Banks use to keep your money safe.
2. Think twice about what you say and do in an online environment
Whilst there are times when your personal details are required for legitimate reasons, such as signing up to a new service or buying something, always check that the person or organisation is who they say they are. Stop and think before filling in surveys, entering competitions, clicking on links or attachments, or even ‘befriending’, ‘liking’ or ‘sharing’ something.
MoneyBrilliant only ask for information that will help us provide a better service for you. We will never ask you to re-confirm details in an email.
3. Keep your mobile devices and computers secure
These are a treasure trove of personal information for scammers. Don’t leave yourself vulnerable to a scammer – always use password protection, don’t share access with others (including remotely), update security software and back up content. Protect your Wi-Fi network with a password and avoid using public computers or Wi-Fi hotspots to access online banking or provide personal information.
4. Choose your passwords carefully
Passwords are often the only barrier between scammers and your valuable information. Set and use strong passwords which are difficult to guess, and change them regularly. A strong password should include a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Don’t use the same password for every account/profile, and don’t share your passwords with anyone.
Don’t be obvious with your passwords. If you have trouble keeping track of multiple logins, consider one of the secure password apps out there.
5. Beware of any request for your details or money
Scammers will try to trick you into handing over your data by using the names of well-known companies or government departments. If you think it’s a scam, DON’T RESPOND. Use the phone book or an online search to check the organisation’s contact details. NEVER use the contact details provided in the original request.
6. Get a copy of your free credit report
Your credit report contains information on your credit history. You can get a free copy of your report every year to check that no-one is using your name to borrow money or run up debts. Find out how you can get your free credit report on ASIC’s MoneySmart website.
7. Monitor your bank accounts – check the details
When you keep an eye on movements in your account you’ll be able to see fraudulent activity quite quickly. If you’re unsure of anything it pays to check with your bank.
When you have a MoneyBrilliant account you’ll receive a weekly update showing you what’s happening in your account, and you can set up your own alerts.
What do you do if it happens to you?
Hopefully you’re never in a situation where your identity gets stolen. But if you are make sure you report it straight away to the police and service providers. You can find the right people to contact on the MoneySmart website – the section is called ‘what to do if your identify has been stolen’.