how to stay safe online
It’s a Digital World
Covid-19 caused a dramatic rise in the number of people using online services like Amazon and ordering their groceries for home delivery. Since then there are even more people making the most of the digital options available to them. At this time of year in particular, many people will naturally be spending more time at home and using the internet.
Making use of everything the online world has to offer can help if you want to limit how much you’re out and about. But in this brave new world of apps and smart everything, what steps should you be taking to keep yourself safe from online fraud and unscrupulous scammers?
Don’t live in fear – but be aware!
Fraud and cyber-crime: the stats
- Britain has become the global capital of fraud, with losses of almost £3 billion a year
- Just one in seven frauds are reported to the police or Action Fraud
- More than 40 million adults in the UK have been targeted by a scammer this year
- Britain has the highest level of credit and debit card fraud in Europe
And with the cost of living hitting the UK hard, the situation is getting worse as criminals find new ways to exploit the elderly and vulnerable – leading to fraudsters stealing £700million in April, compared with an average of £200million a month over the previous year.
Embracing the digital world, safely
So let’s run through some of the ways that you can keep yourself safe from online crime.
Be wary of scams
Online scams targeting older people are on the rise!
If you receive an email asking you to input your bank details, share personal information, or take an action like downloading a file or opening a link, be very cautious.
If you receive anything from a sender you don’t recognise – or weren’t expecting – be sure to check with a trusted friend or family member before responding.
Strengthen usernames and passwords
Keep your tech updated and secure
Don’t get too personal on social media
Look for the padlock
If you’re at all worried about your online safety, or you think you may have fallen victim to fraud, talk to a loved one, or visit the Action Fraud website for help, support, and more detailed advice.