Staying Safe Online

In this article we are going to investigate and offer advice about keeping your identity and information secure whilst you are online. We will focus on the scams that are out there and the scammers who have created these to take our money. We will also discover how to be sure that you are looking at the correct and secure website.

Online Scams:

Online scams are unfortunately becoming more common place. These scams breakdown into three main categories; Fake Websites, Fake Software and Fake Emails.

Fake Websites:

To clone, mimic or copy a website is not difficult for a scam artist, they do this to collect vital information including your password and memorable information. Experience and history tells us that a whole host of websites have been cloned, banking sites, email providers and social media sites including facebook and twitter.

So how do we avoid these sites, well the first thing is to check that the site is real and using secure servers; first check the website address. Is it using https? (Eg https://twitter.com)  Next you can check the website certificate to prove authenticity. Real certificates are displayed in a green box giving the name of the certificate holder next to the https://.

As with everything technical Your PC Guru is here to help lookafter you, our best advice is to always think before you click.

Fake Software:

We have supported many customers both young and old alike that have been a victim or were nearly a victim of an online scam. We often receive calls from customers who are experiencing problems with nuisance security warnings they cannot remove. We often find these security warnings to be fake, unfortunately there is an entire industry that exists to create new ways of producing fake alerts and warnings about anti virus and data breaches. Often the main aim of these fake warnings is for you to pay to download software to remove the virus or fix the data breach, although you find yourself paying for something that doesn’t exist or worse actually installs a virus.

The fake alerts can often be spotted, they will inform you that you have hundreds or thousands of infections on your computer then offer you security software that requires a payment to activate. If you are in any doubt as to the authenticity of an alert seek advice from a professional. Sometimes you will find a scam that just fills your screen or pops up constantly, if you ignore them and restart the computer you will find they disappear.

Fake Emails:

Many customers are reporting an increase in fake or scam emails appearing in their email inbox, these will often look very similar to the official emails but will come from an email address that doesn’t actually link to the company whose email they are replicating.

Our advice is to disregard any emails that appear to be sent from an unknown email address, you can always call the company in question to ensure that the email ws indeed fake. The main think to remember is that to date very few banks send emails, the HMRC do not send emails so any email claiming to be from these institutions will almost definitely be a fake.

As with everything on the internet our underlying advice is; Think before you click and if you have any concerns get expert advice.

Friendly advice and support is always from Your PC Guru