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One of the biggest steps you can take to safeguarding yourself from online fraud is to safeguard your computer, PC or laptop. This is something that many people overlook because they say or think that they donâ€™t know an awful lot about computers. It is easy to use this as an excuse but it is very important that you take the time and effort to ensure that your computer is able to stand up to the threat of viruses, malware and even hackers. You should find that you can achieve this quickly and easily by updating your computer and then downloading the latest software for your computer. Opting for anti-spyware software or anti-virus software is going to be one of the best ways to protect yourself from harm when you shop online.
If you are not confident about dealing with these problems, make sure that you ask someone for help or at the last case, take it to a computer store and request assistance in securing your computer. Staying safe online is important and youâ€™ll find that assistance is available if you need any help.
Always look for the padlock icon
When shopping online, make sure you see the padlock icon. When you visit a website, you should see a padlock in the browser or at the beginning of the website address. If you do not see a padlock icon on the page or site, you should not provide any personal information. This is because a site that doesnâ€™t have a padlock does not have a secure link which means that the site could be vulnerable to attacks and to fraud. It makes sense to stay safe and taking the step of at least looking for a padlock can make a big difference in minimising the risk of fraud.
One tactic that many people are taking when it comes to staying safe when they shop online is to use a prepaid card. This is where rather than using a debit card or a credit card, you purchase a card and place money on it. This prepaid card is not linked to your bank account and if something does happen, you will only lose the money that is on your card. This isnâ€™t ideal but it is a far more attractive scenario than some of the other situations that could arise.
A prepaid card utilises the same PIN technology but it will not place you at risk of identity theft, so it has to be seen as a more viable and sensible option for anyone who is concerned about online fraud.
Keep your passwords updated
You need to update your passwords and ensure that they are safe and very hard to guess. When you are looking to secure your accounts, the quality of your password is important. You donâ€™t want to use the same password on all of your accounts and you donâ€™t want to use a password that someone who knows something about you could guess. You need to be aware that some fraudsters will take the time to check out your social media accounts before they attempt to enter your account. This means that they may be able to work out what you are likely to use as your password if you opt for an obvious password. It can be difficult to create a unique password that is hard to guess, and still remember it yourself, but the quality of your password will go an awful long way to determining how safe and secure your accounts are.
You also need to be realistic when it comes to staying safe online. If you find a brand name good or designer label at a rock bottom price, you will have to ask yourself how likely it is that this product will be on offer at that price? There are bargains to be had when shopping online but if an offer seems like a very attractive deal, you need to ask yourself if this offer is going to be a genuine one. A lot of online fraud occurs because people get greedy and are too keen to spend on dodgy deals. Taking the time to weigh up an offer before you rush in and buy it will always be a smart move when it comes to staying safe online.
With online fraud on the rise, it makes sense to stay safe online and you should call on the experts when it comes to online fraud. Knowing who to turn to for guidance and support when it comes to online fraud will make life an awful lot easier.
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.