Ways to stay safe online

Start with awareness and vigilance.

Many hackers will 'phish' for your personal details and information.
Staying safe online is paramount as cyber criminals target the internet to commit fraud and scams. Our guide shows you how to protect yourself online.

You can do almost anything online nowadays; banking, shopping and communicating is as easy as clicking a button.

But it can be just as easy for cyber criminals to access your personal information – and with disastrous consequences if they do.

Internet security is something we should all take seriously. And a little knowledge is all it takes to stay safe online.

How hackers access your information

Criminals love the internet – it allows them to pry into the lives of the unwary, steal information, and even commit fraud and empty bank accounts.

It’s surprisingly easy to be tricked by scammers, but a few steps can keep you safe online and protect your data and identity.
Internet hackers can gain access to your personal information in a few ways:

• Spam email, where cyber criminals send out vast amounts of unsolicited emails from an unknown source, in the hope that out of the millions of spam emails they send, a few will fool the unwary.

• Via an on online shopping service that sells a product or service but has no intention of ever delivering.

• Sneaking in to your computer in the form of a virus or malware.

Going Phishing
A phishing email is when hackers pose as a legitimate website and ask you for your personal details.
These emails usually take the form of someone you would consider a trusted service, like a bank. However, legitimate services will never ask for your personal information over email - never.
If you receive an email asking for any kind of personal details, mark it as spam and don’t respond, not even to tell them off, as that will flag up your account as active.
Ultimately, the golden rule of internet security is never open an email attachment, never click a link to a website from an unknown source, and always be suspicious of any email that you weren't expecting to receive.

Online shopping scams
f you're nervous about shopping online, safeguard your privacy by choosing to shop only with reputable, well-known websites. Stick to either high end shops with an online presence, or well-known online retailers.
Avoid public wi-fi networks
If possible, avoid using public wi-fi networks.
Fake wi-fi hotspots are easily set up and once you connect, criminals can then steal your usernames and passwords to access your accounts.
Even if a wi-fi hotspot is genuine, the private information you send back and forth across the internet may be not encrypted and therefore can be intercepted by those with criminal intent.
Being vigilant about internet security might seem like a full-time job, but once you know what to look for it becomes second nature.

For more information or help with insuring your computer systems are protected, call on Peak Mountain Technology Solutions.