Protecting yourself from scams is crucial in today’s digital age where scammers are constantly finding new ways to target individuals and steal personal information. Here are some tips to help you stay safe and avoid falling victim to scams:
- Be Sceptical: Always approach unsolicited emails, phone calls, or messages with scepticism. Scammers often use urgency and pressure to trick you into making quick decisions. Take your time to verify the legitimacy of the communication before taking any action.
- Verify Requests: If you receive an email, text message, or call requesting sensitive information or payment, verify the request through a trusted and official channel. For example, if your bank contacts you, call the official customer service number listed on their website to confirm the request.
- Use Strong Passwords: Create strong, unique passwords for all your online accounts, and avoid using easily guessable information. Use a password manager to keep track of your passwords securely.
- Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Whenever possible, enable MFA for your online accounts. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of verification, such as a one-time code sent to your phone, in addition to your password.
- Protect Personal Information: Be cautious about sharing personal information online, especially on social media. Scammers can use this information to target you more effectively.
- Be Careful with Links: Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails or messages. Hover your mouse over the link to see the actual URL and ensure it matches the claimed destination before clicking.
- Update Software: Keep your operating system, antivirus, and other software up to date with the latest security patches. This helps protect against known vulnerabilities that scammers may exploit.
- Research and Verify: Before making any financial decisions or donations, research the organization thoroughly and verify its legitimacy. Check for reviews and ratings, and use official websites and contact information.
- Educate Yourself: Stay informed about the latest scams and tactics used by scammers. Government websites and consumer protection agencies often provide information about common scams and how to avoid them. Scamwatch is an official Australian Government website which contains a list of known scams and threats.
And please remember, our phone lines are open 5 days a week and we encourage you to call our office if you need any support surrounding online security.