The internet has become a natural extension of everyday life for most people. We are connected to the web not only through computers, but also through tablets and phones and even through our fridges and wristwatches. But at the same time as the internet is expanding into new areas of our lives, we also hear about identity theft, card fraud and other online scams. How do you navigate the online jungle and stay safe?
Nordea takes fraud seriously. We have a whole unit of specialists and experts dedicated to keeping our customers safe. What tips can they offer for a safer online experience?
1. Change your passwords
How many people do you know who haven’t changed their password for years? Or use their date of birth as a pin code? It’s not a good idea. Most of us know that we need to change passwords regularly at work so why not do the same at home? Have you heard of the bones song to help memorise the bones in the human body? Maybe you can make up your own song to remember your passwords. And don’t forget to change the default passwords of any internet connected devices that you might have.
2. If you wouldn’t do it in the real world, don’t do it online either
It’s easy to say and do things online that you wouldn’t do in real life. Contact is often anonymous; you don’t see the people you’re talking to and you may never have to meet them. Written messages are easy to misunderstand and you may not spot the warning signs when you don’t see a person face to face, for example, when you visit a chat forum or a Facebook group. Would you tell the person standing in front of you in the queue at the grocery store details of your job or marriage? Would you give your netbank codes or credit card information to someone who asks you on the train? Then why would you do so if they ask in an e-mail?
3. If you have been the victim of fraud, you are not alone – contact the police and your bank immediately
If you find yourself a victim of fraud it’s easy to blame yourself and start questioning why you fell for the scam. You need to save that for later. If you do find yourself the victim of fraud, or you think someone might have gained access to your credit card information or netbank codes, contact the police and your bank immediately. Time is of the essence in fraud cases and acting quickly can help minimise losses. Then it’s time to evaluate what you could have done differently to make sure that it doesn’t happen again. And remember that you are not alone.
4. Be aware of what you share
Social media channels are a good way to keep in touch, share ideas and interests and even find a new job, but consider which personal information you share and with whom. Check the privacy settings of the services you use and choose the people you let into your network carefully, particularly if you don’t know them personally. Fake online profiles are not uncommon. It’s hard to get things offline so consider the possible implications for your personal life and career if your information gets into the wrong hands.
5. If it feels too good to be true, it probably is
This one you hear a lot, but people still fall for these scams. So stop to consider whether a hot investment opportunity or a mysterious millionaire relative is too good to be true. Ask questions and learn to recognise the tell-tale signs of a scam. If you receive an e-mail with an amazing offer, go to the company’s website or call them to find out if they actually have this kind of a campaign. Conduct an image search of any pictures you might receive, research names and companies and don’t send money to people you don’t know personally. You can always ask your bank for advice and have them look over any documents you might receive. Keep in mind that if something seems too good to be true, it most likely is.
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