- Never reply to a spam email, even to unsubscribe
Often, this just serves to “verify” your address to scammers. The best course of action is to delete any suspicious emails without opening them.
- Turn off the “viewing pane”
Just viewing the email may send a verification notice to the sender that yours is a valid email address.
- Be Skeptical of Senders
Legitimate banks and financial institutions will never ask you for your account details in an email or ask you to click on a link in an email to access your account. Never call a telephone number or trust other contact details that you see in a spam email.
- Security Software
Install software that protects your computer from viruses and unwanted programs and make sure it is kept current. If you are unsure, seek the help of a computer professional.
- Never Follow A Link In An Email
If you want to access a website, use a bookmarked link to the website or type the address of the website into the browser yourself.
- Check Website Addresses Carefully
Scammers often set up fake websites with addresses very similar to legitimate websites.
- ‘Free’ Downloads Can Cost You
Beware of websites offering “free” downloads (such as music, adult content, games and movies). Downloading these products may install harmful programs onto your computer without you knowing.
- Avoid Clicking On Pop-Up Ads
This could lead to harmful programs being installed on your computer.
- Use Public Computers With Caution
Avoid using computers at libraries or Internet cafes to do your Internet banking or online shopping. When using public computers, clear the history and cache of the computer when you finish your session.
- Strong Passwords
Choose passwords that would be difficult for anyone else to guess — for example, passwords that include letters and numbers. You should also regularly change passwords.
- Keep Track of Online Buying
Only pay via a secure site when buying online and print out copies of all transactions. If using an Internet auction site, note the ID numbers involved and read all the security advice on the site first.
Protect Your Identity
- Keep Your Details Private
Only give out your personal details and information where it is absolutely necessary and when you trust the person you are dealing with. Never enter your personal, credit card or online account information on a website that you are not sure is genuine, or send those details through an email.
- Be Cautious About Auto-Complete
Some computer software will auto-complete online forms. This can give Internet scammers easy access to your personal details and credit card information.
- Emailing Money
Never send money to anyone that you don’t know and trust.
- Paying to Claim a Prize or Winnings
Do not send any money or pay any fee to claim a prize or lottery winnings.
- Use Your Own Account Carefully
“Jobs” asking you to simply use your own bank account to transfer money for somebody could be a front for money-laundering activity. Money laundering is a serious criminal offence.
- Know Your Recipients
Avoid transferring or wiring any refunds or over payments back to anyone you do not know.