Stay Safe On The Internet
The Internet is a fantastic resource for information and entertainment and has become an integral part of our daily lives. Unfortunately it can also be a dangerous place to those unaware of the risks that lurk in the cyber world.. We want to help you enjoy the internet so have created a few hints and tips to ensure your 'Net-Safety'.
Never release personal details by phone or by email.
Scammers use fake emails to persuade you to release your account information. Most notably they will be asking you to reset your password, look at an (exclusive) offer, collect your gift, find love, obtain a refund or other trickery.
In recent years they have even resorted to calling you with such techniques in order to get your personal details. This can be difficult to realise, especially when you are expecting a parcel to be delivered or are expecting a refund from someone. Telephone scammers are now calling and reporting dangerous viral activity from your computer with a need access and repair it, at significant cost! This is a rapidly growing telephone scam.
The general rule stands – never provide details to someone that has called/emailed you.
If you are offered the ability to call back, please call the person back using a telephone number obtained from the White or Yellow Pages or other reputable information source and not the number they may provide you with.
It pays to have a healthy dose of scepticism.
Nothing in life is free, so don’t be tricked into thinking that you’re getting something for free. It's almost guaranteed that you will not be left with a happy result.
This type of scam often presents itself as a 'You Have Won 1 Million Dollars' banner on your screen. It can even appear as a $20 Gift Card offer, you just need to provide all your personal information to redeem it.
Please be careful as scammers often use the names and logos of well known brands to trick people.
Poor Spelling and Grammar.
Many scammers' emails have examples of poor use of language, easing the identification of a scam email. However, the quality of these emails is improving.
Been wary of changes to the format of emails you receive as they often replicate legitimate sources such as Banks and Retails brands.
A good tip is to place your mouse over any links in the email to ensure they point back to the correct domain name or website. Scam emails will often point to randomly generated or complex links. ie 'ebay.hyyjzz823.com' is an incorrect domain link for eBay.com.au.
When in doubt, do not use the links in emails and go to the site directly in your browser.
Whilst no software solution is impenetrable, it’s important that you run good quality protection on your computer.
The importance of strong and complex passwords cannot be overstated. Although we acknowledge the difficulty of remembering good passwords, not having one is akin to leaving your car door unlocked.
In addition to complex passwords, they should also be unique to each application. Having the same password for multiple websites or uses makes a crackers job much easier as they rapidly gain access to your email, facebook, ebay and bank systems. Some of the world's largest cracks have been performed this way, simply by guessing one password then using that in multiple places.
It may seem harmless to you but an online attack is rarely executed in one move. It typically involves reconnaissance of your email and slowly progresses from there.
Please don’t be afraid to seek assistance - It’s always okay to ask for a second opinion.
If you feel that you may have been tricked by a scammer or accidently released your passwords please urgently contact the relevant company to seek advice. For example consider, the hypothetical situation where you have received an email notification purporting to be from your bank, which is in some way asking you to update your details (something banks will never do).
To stay aware of the latest scams you can visit the government Scam Watch website https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/ and subscribe to email notifications.