The covid-19 pandemic has led to a rapid rise in scams. With many of us doing our Christmas and other shopping online, there has never been a more important time for staying safe online.
Create complex passwords – creating strong, unique passwords for all your accounts is the best way to keep your personal and financial information safe.
Use a mixture of upper and lower case, numbers and special characters such as 1 for i.
Consider using a password manager to help you store and create strong passwords for all of your accounts
Some additional layers of security are:
Email scams – fake emails that criminals hope will trick you into entering personal or financial details. They might direct you to a fake website, ask you to fill in an online form or attach harmful documents and links. Some scams look genuine, but sometimes there are obvious giveaways, including poor spelling and grammar, requests for personal information (which a genuine company would never do), and threats – for example, ‘unless you act now, this deal will expire’.
Fake websites – scammers create fake websites which look official and ask you to provide personal or financial information. For example, a fake bank website may be set up asking you to update your account or security information. They can look very believable, so be on your guard.
Viruses – programs that spread from one computer to another. Often, they are sent in an email via an attachment – when you open the attachment, it releases the virus. Scammers then gain control of your computer, or the virus scans your computer for personal information.
If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, report it to Action Fraud.
Last updated: 15/12/2020