Online Safety

07 Jul 2021

The internet and technology have advanced so much along the years to make our lives easier. You can now order and buy clothes from your favourite retailer online, make your grocery shopping online, book cinema tickets online and well, even work from your own home, online. What’s better is the comfort and ease at which you can perform all of these actions – with just a click of a button, the order is sent to you and will arrive within a few days. However, there are certain drawbacks of such features of the internet. Cybercrime has increased and the number of victims has gradually accumulated throughout the years. Google has registered over 2 million phishing sites as of January 2021, up from 1.7 million in January 2020. To make it even worse, hackers and online scammers attempted to benefit from the coronavirus pandemic disrupting COVID-19 efforts and critical supply chains. 

Facts: 

  • 200 zettabytes of data will be stored online by 2025
  • Internet-connected devices will reach 35 billion in 2021 and 75 billion in 2025
  • 40% of IT leaders claim that cybersecurity job positions are the most difficult to fill
  • Cyberattacks were the fifth top rated risk in 2020 

Kathy Koestner, Vice President of Information Security explained, “The Internet has become one of the most popular tools used to commit fraud and criminals are becoming more and more sophisticated with their hacking techniques. As a result, it’s extremely important for consumers to use only trusted secured wireless networks when completing their financial transactions and understand all personal information shared online can be used by fraudsters to commit online fraud.”

Keep in mind that everyone can be tricked into a scam – whoever you are. 

Passwords

When you’re creating a new account for a website and it asks you to create a strong password, make sure it’s a strong password! Your birthday, pet’s name or favourite football club isn’t a strong password. Try selecting one that includes upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters to make it tough to hack. 

Phishing 

Phishing is when you receive scam emails or fraudulent websites that attempt to get your personal details and data that could harm you and your finances. In order to ensure safety, avoid emails from people you don’t know or ones you weren’t expecting and sites – don’t open them and if they pop up, close them immediately. 

Personal information

Almost everyone is on social media and it’s relatively easy to find someone on Facebook. Even though you may not think it’s related to cybercrime, it is as such platforms can give hackers information that could help them access your accounts. Hence, try keeping your profiles private, don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know, avoid displaying publicly information about yourself such as your date of birth and your hometown. Even if your password isn’t related to any of that information, the Forgot your Password setting usually asks those security questions, and if the information is up online for everyone to see, you’d be putting yourself at risk. 

Shopping online

There are various ways for you to check and ensure that you’re safely shopping online. You can learn more about staying safe whilst shopping online here