Internet crime on the rise – get protected

There has been lots of attention in the media recently regarding the rise in online fraud with eBay announcing that their security had been compromised, urging customers to change their passwords. Then there was the threat of ‘Gameover Zeus’, a ransom virus which is thought to have already affected 15,000 victims in the UK. With online banking becoming the norm and online fraud rocketing, isn’t it time we started taking our online security a little more seriously?

Online fraud is fast becoming a very real concern for banks, so much so that they are tightening their rules to avoid paying out to customers who haven’t taken the necessary steps to prevent internet fraud. An internet security firm recently reported that 160,000 types of computer virus are being produced each day with the aim of attacking online security and searching for personal data, all with the goal of accessing customers’ money. With this level of sophistication, banks are demanding that customers take every precaution to protect their cash otherwise they may refuse to pay out to victims of fraud.

Is online fraud going pandemic?

The figures look scary as many predict an online fraud epidemic in 2018 with nearly £50 million already having been stolen by fraudulent gangs who are exploiting those customers who are yet to protect themselves online. Despite the increasingly sophisticated tactics employed by fraudsters, including enlisting the help of call centres to persuade customers to hand over secure details, it remains virtually impossible for hackers to gain access to accounts without the personal details of customers, which is why bank accounts that have been raided are often the least secure.

It may not be surprising then that the majority of online banking victims are over the age of 50, with a sharp rise in the number of pensioners also falling prey to hackers – many of whom are teenagers and young adults who are extremely savvy and resourceful when it comes to accessing vulnerable customers’ personal details.

As more and more people head online to manage their finances, so too are criminal gangs, realising that naïve customers are unaware of the potential dangers, the equivalent being if somebody left their house with all the windows and doors wide open. With that in mind, we have put together a few tips to try and keep you safe online.

  • Keep your details close to your chest – don’t give your personal information to strangers or even people you trust, you never know who is watching.
  • Be more savvy with your passwords – try to make them as complex as possible to give yourself the best chance of safety – and never write them down!
  • Be careful where you go online – wifi can be a very unsafe connection so never do your internet banking in public.
  • Never give away your personal details over the phone – trust your instincts, if something seems unsafe, it probably is.
  • Consider finding an online mentor – somebody you trust who can help you with your internet use if you are unsure of how things work.

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