The internet has made life so much easier for many people and it would be fair to say that many people’s lives have been enlightened and brightened up by the internet. However, many people have also endured problems and difficulties because of the internet. This is because the internet has provided people with the chance to commit online fraud, and not everyone is aware of the danger of online fraud.
One of the reasons that so many people are the victims of fraud is because they don’t expect to be the victim of fraud. While some people will say that having a suspicious nature is not the best way to live your life, if you are suspicious and slightly cynical you will find that you are far more likely to avoid being the victim of fraud.
One of the best things you can do to minimise being a victim of fraud is to only open attachments or emails, or clicking on links, from people or businesses that you know or are aware of. Not taking everything at face value will give you a better chance of avoiding being the victim of fraud so make sure that you give yourself some time to think about what you are doing.
Don’t Believe Everything that you See
Just because an email claims to come from a company or features a noticeable logo or branding doesn’t necessarily mean that it is genuine. It is very easy to steal, copy or replicate the logos from major businesses, so don’t automatically assume that an email or correspondence is genuine. This follows on from the advice of being cynical or cautious.
This may go against the nature of many people or it may seem like a negative way to lead a life but with respect to staying safe and minimising the likelihood of fraud, it makes sense to be cautious at all times.
Don’t Provide Information
When it comes to your personal or financial information, make sure that you don’t pass this information on. You should never reveal financial or personal information over the phone, by text or by email. A legitimate company will never ask you for this sort of information so if someone does ask you for your personal or financial details; it may be that you are conversing with a fraudster or scammer.
Again, some people will drop their guard when they think that they are dealing with a major firm, but you aren’t always dealing with who you think you are. You should never provide information that would allow scammers and fraudsters to target your account or take money from you.
Examine the URL of a Website
While a link may something, it may be that the website it is directing you to will be for something else. You should always pay attention to the URL of a website and if you are concerned about a link, don’t press it, hover over the link. This will tell you the address that the links is taking you to and if you have any doubts or concerns about the address or intended site, you shouldn’t click on the link.
Make sure your Computer is Clean
With so many people reliant on their computer for everyday life, it is understandable that many fraudsters are attempting to target people via their computer. One of the best ways in which you can do this investing in anti-virus software and then making sure that this software is up to date. This is a simple thing to do and the benefits of doing so will pay off in the long run.
Even if you don’t have a lot of confidence or experience in dealing with computers, you’ll find that it is simple enough to maintain the safety of your machine. If you are unsure about what you need to do to safeguard your machine, call on the support of a professional or a friend/family member who can help you to look after your machine in the most effective manner.
Staying safe online is imperative and you need to make sure that you are using the internet in a safe and effective manner. Fraudsters are always looking for ways in which to steal money and information from people so if you want to stay safe, be alert and follow the guidelines for the safe use of the internet.
Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.