Online fraud – Tips to protect yourself online

Do you remember waiting in line at a bank during business hours to withdraw money from your account? If you were late you risked having NO MONEY for the weekend! Doesn’t that now seem so incredible?

The growth of online banking and transactions of all types has exploded in recent years. We now enjoy 24/7 online access to our funds as well as global shopping from the comfort of our homes.

Technology has changed our lives immeasurably, however it has also led to a new type of personal risk – online fraud.

Online fraud refers to any type of fraud scheme that uses online services to conduct fraudulent solicitations, fraudulent transactions or to transmit the proceeds of fraud to financial institutions.

Banks and financial institutions spend millions on sophisticated software systems to protect our accounts. It is for this very reason criminals instead focus directly on customers to trick them into disclosing confidential personal information.

However, there is a lot YOU can do to protect yourself. Being aware of the risks will help you make better choices about HOW you use the internet.

Here are some simple steps you can take to minimize your risk:

Install security software and set it to scan regularly. Reputable software will protect you from viruses, malware and spyware and alert you to threats. It is equally important to pay attention to security settings on mobile devices or any device that has an internet connection.

Scareware often appears as a popup advising your computer is infected. It prompts you to purchase (useless and possibly dangerous) software to repair it. Check your security settings and ensure your popup blocker is on.

Turn on auto updates date against the latest threats.If you have old software no longer supported with updates from the manufacturer -uninstall it.

Be wary of clicking links or attachments in emails or on social media sites. As a general rule, if you don’t know the sender – DELETE.

Review and adjust your privacy settings on all social media sites. Not sure how? Google ‘How do I set my privacy settings on Facebook?’ (LinkedIn, Instagram etc).

Use strong passwords and change them twice a year.Yes, we know they are the bane of life for many of us! But they can certainly help prevent criminals accessing your computer or other devices that hold personal information.

If a computer offers to save your password when you log in say ‘no’.Scammers can use malware to locate passwords stored in your PC.

Use different passwords for each account.And whatever you do,DON’T store a list of passwords on your computer!If you must,write them down and hide them well away from your computer.

Secure your wireless network.Assign a password so that any attached device must know the password to connect.

Try not to use WiFi hotspots or public computers for sensitive internet usage.Always clear the history, close the browser and logout after use.

Practice safe shopping

When shopping online check you are on a secure page.The web address will begin with HTTPs and display a locked key or padlock icon. But beware, scammers can reproduce symbols to make a fake site look secure. If in doubt, don’t purchase. Better to be safe than sorry.

Always keep a copy of your transaction. If you suspect a scam or fraud contact your bank immediately.

NEVER send your bank or credit card details by email – ALL transactions should be through a secure web page. Conversely,banks will NEVER send you an email asking you to reveal your account details or password. Ignore or delete any email that looks suspicious or contact your bank by phone to confirm legitimacy.

Our online world has provided convenience at our fingertips we could never have imagined 15 years ago. In many ways it has changed our lives for the better. Being proactive about online security will help all of us stay safe online.

Comments are closed.

Contact Us


Australian Office
Level 29, 221 St Georges Tce
Perth WA 6000
Phone: (61) 8 9214 3894
Fax: (61) 8 9480 3705

Singapore Office
8 Temasek Boulevard Penthouse Level,
Suntec Tower Three,
Singapore 038988
Phone: (65) 6829 2266
Fax: (65) 68292121