Stay Safe OnlineTuesday, March 2. 2010
Spam is increasing at a record rating and Telstra is providing advice to coincide with the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce’s 2010 Fraud Week campaign: ‘Online Offensive – Fighting Fraud Online’.
More than eight in ten Australians access the internet weekly to shop online and visit social networking sites. When shopping online you need to minimise the risk of fraud and ensure you are safe online.
It often doesn’t matter how savvy you are online, scammers target all age groups and you need to be aware of common internet scams.
A good tip is: If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is!
1. Hoax emails
To help stay protected from fraud, Telstra recommends remembering these top three tips and common scams:
Banks and sites like BigPond will never ask for personal information like credit card or bank account details via email or SMS. If you receive an email or SMS asking for this information, delete it. If you are worried, contact the company the email or SMS claims it is from to verify that it is legitimate.
When buying big ticket items like a car, always try and speak directly with the seller and inspect the item prior to making payment.
3. Transact safely online
Ensure the website you are using keeps your financial details private and secure and that they offer anti-fraud protection. Common scams to be aware of:
Phishing. Beware of any unsolicited emails from organisations requesting you to update your personal/financial details. They may use these details to access your online account and then use it for fraudulent purposes.
Wire Transfer Scams. Beware of any sellers requesting you to send funds overseas - this scam involves the seller engaging the buyer off-site (usually via email) and convincing them to send money through an international money transfer service for an item that will never be shipped.
Domestic Non-Delivery Fraud. Beware of ads for high value electronic items advertised for a low price. Unsuspecting buyers make contact and send funds to the seller but never receive the item.
Buyer Fraud Scam. Beware of buyers requesting you send the item you are selling overseas. They may send a fake invoice from a financial provider to dupe you into thinking they have paid.
Ten Tips for Staying Safe on Facebook from AVG (AU/NZ)With more people joining Facebook and sharing their personal information, criminals are now easily finding a rich source of income via stealing identities, sending spam and adding virus! Stay safe on Facebook using these tips from AVG (AU/NZ).
1. Think about who you add
It’s not all about the numbers of friends. Remember when you accept a friend request you provide your new friend with access to lots of information about you. This includes, posts, photographs, messages and all the background information that you write about yourself. You can delete friends at any time, so perhaps it’s time to refresh your list and think about who you really want accessing your information.
2. Check your settings
Recently, Facebook changed the default privacy setting to share information publicly. It’s worth spending some time to go through your settings and adjust where necessary; you may be sharing more than you intended. You even have the option to add ‘limited profiles’ for those people that you may not want accessing your personal information. It’s up to you how you want to use these settings so it’s definitely worth having a look to create a profile that’s right for you!
3. Why are you on Facebook?
Ask yourself what you want to achieve with your profile. Is it just to share photos, or keep in touch with people, or even to share links and updates of your activities? Sometimes it’s better to cut down what you show on your profile; this includes signing up to applications which also take a lot of your data. You can always add or remove options as you go, so if your needs change, so should your profile.
4. Be smart about your password
Try not to use the same passwords on all of your accounts. It’s also important to be mindful of where you are sending your updates and the types of security questions you set.
5. Be aware of where you sign in from
Check that the computer that you sign in from doesn’t store your email address and password. It seems simple but often it’s easy to accidentally choose it to ‘remember you’. Make sure you have the appropriate privacy settings on your browser.
6. Be careful what you say
Make sure that what you say in status updates and comments is something that you would be comfortable seeing on the front page of a newspaper. Once you post it, anyone that sees it can copy and post it elsewhere, or take action based on it. Do you really want everyone to know that you will be all alone at home tonight or away next week?
7. Watch out for Phishing Attacks
Over the past year, there have been many attempts to get users to give up their login and passwords by tricking them with fake emails from Facebook. Never select any email links asking you to click to reset your password. Always go directly to Facebook – if there is a problem, Facebook will notify you on site. Installing and using an up-to-date complete protection solution on your PC, like AVG Internet Security, will also safeguard you against spam and phishing attacks.
8. Take immediate action
If friends start receiving spam from you or status updates appear that you didn’t make, your account may have been compromised. If you think this has happened, immediately change your password. If you can’t log in to your account, go to the Help link at the bottom of any Facebook page and click on Security to notify Facebook about your account.
9. Protect your mobile device.
Be mindful about who might have access to your mobile phone. Many phones today have apps that connect you into many social networking sites such as Facebook. Therefore, if you use these apps, make sure you log out of them when you are no longer using them.
10. Monitor suspicious activity
Watch out for suspicious activity on your Wall, News Feed and Facebook Inbox. Never, ever click on suspicious links. They can often look enticing, e.g. “Hey come look at my charity cycling pictures on my site.” Before you click, look closely! Does the site look authentic? If in doubt, don’t click on it.
AVG’s Lloyd Borrett advises, “As with any online activity be smart, be aware, be careful, and you can stay as safe on Facebook as anywhere else online.”
For More Information see:
More AVG Tips
Internet Safety Fear
Myspace and Facebook Banned
Staying Safe on Twitter
Follow Girl on Twitter
Follow Femail on Twitter