Top 5 Things You Can Do to Stay Safe Online

With just about everything moving to the internet and new scams and viruses popping up all the time, we listed their recommended Top 5 things you can do, to remain safe online.

1. Use a Virus Checker

These days everyone knows you should have a Virus Checker on your computer. However you would be surprised of how many people haven’t got around to installing one yet; or have let their installed virus checker’s license lapse and are left vulnerable.

So if you haven’t got one installed or active. Do it now!

Another important issue regarding the Virus Checker, is to ensure it’s virus database is updated to the latest version (this normally happens automatically, but sometimes it can get stuck), as well as ensure it either runs a full scan regularly, or is running realtime.

2. Keep up-to-date with Windows Updates

Virus writers and hackers are the first to find the holes/vulnerabilities in operating systems such as Windows, and popular software, such as web browsers, email clients, etc.

Windows and other well known vendors, try to keep ontop of vulnerabilities when identified, by pushing out patches/updates regularly.

If you don’t tell Windows to update automatically, make sure you manually kick it off at least once a week.

3. Look for the Lock

When you are entering personal information or payment details on a website, be sure to check the website is secure, by checking to see if it has a locked padlock symbol in the browser address bar, beside the website name.

Example of a locked padlock, showing it is a secure site.

If it isn’t present, or not locked, DO NOTenter any personal information.

4. Avoid clicking on any links in emails

Unless you are expecting an email with a link, then avoid clicking on links in emails or SMSes.  Expecially if it is wanting you to sign in, or enter credit card or personal details.

This is the top way viruses, trojans, dataloggers, ransomware & malware get access to your computer or information.

An Example of a fake email from someone pretending to be the Commonwealth Bank. Don’t click on these links.

Remember just because an email says it is from your bank, internet provider, Microsoft,  itunes,  ATO, Medicare, ebay etc, it doesn’t mean it is. The scammers have made emails look very realistic these days, and have fooled many.

An example of another fake email, that looks more believable. Don’t click on the link.

Instead of clicking the link, open a fresh browser and manually type your service provider’s website address, or use your existing bookmarks, and look for the lock (tip 3) before entering private information.

Note: if you have a good Virus Checker installed (tip 1) with an up-to-date  database,  it will likely quarantine any suspicious emails you receive and prevent you from opening a compromised website.

5. Avoid opening any email attachments

Don’t open every email attachment you may receive, unless you are expecting it, or trust the sender.

Having said that, if a friend’s computer or email account is compromised, the virus can send bulk emails to all their friends, passing on the contaminated links/attachments.

Just because it says it is a bill, doesn’t mean it is one. This one is fake.

Again a good virus checker helps minimise this risk.

Here is another fake email from someone pretending to be from Google. Notice the from email address is not from who they say they are. Don’t open the attachment.

Hope you have found these tips helpful and continue to stay safe online.

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