#Saferinternetday is Tuesday 6 February and we wanted to share some top tips in staying safe online. Online scams are becoming increasingly more frequent. Scammers are becoming more subtle and tactical which results in many people being tricked out even when they are frequent internet users. People living at home with dementia may be vulnerable to scams and fraud. This is why it is crucial to stay safe online.

When using the internet you are exposing yourself to a risk of potential online threats which include identity theft, data breaches, viruses, phishing, email scams, online scams and fake websites. Here are some top tips in staying safe online:

Email Scams

Scammers send bogus emails in the quest to trick people into entering their personal or financial details. This could be directing you to a fake website that allows you to think that you have won a prize. Other examples of spam include links or files to open which could potentially harm your device. Scammers are getting more subtle and making emails look more genuine and legit. There ways to tell this is a scam by looking for things that include spelling errors, unusual style of writing, requests for personal info or threats for you to act now or your account will be closed. 
If you suspect an email do not reply with any of your personal details or open any links. Delete the message right away. If the email claims to be from an organsation then phone to check. 

Fake Websites

Scammers create fake websites which look realistic and official asking you for personal or financial information. An example of this is receiving a fake bank email asking you to update your account or security info . 

Visit your bank's website by typing their offical web address in your internet brower – you can find this on letters from the bank. If you aren't sure about which website to use for a government service, go through GOV.UK, the Government’s official website, to find what you need.

Computer Viruses

Computer viruses are rogue programmes that spread from one computer to another. This can occur when you click on an attachment which could then release a virus. Scammers can then get access and take control of your computer or the virus could scan your computer for financial information which can slow down your computer. The scam could include receiving a phone call from an individual claiming to be a well known company telling you there is an issue on your computer that needs fixed. In this situation, hang up straight away. A top tip is using anti-virus and anti-spyware to protect your computer from viruses. 

Top Tips

Keep your passwords strong

  • Avoid passwords that are common words, numbers or keyboard patterns like password or 1234. Do not include any personal information that includes your name and date of birth. Always use different passwords for different accounts.

Install security software on your computer

  • Anti-virus software will scan your device or computer for any potential viruses and remove them. This prevents programs from tracking your activities or scanning your computer for financial information. You can purchase a package or download a free anti-virus software including AVG. 

Protect your wireless network

  • You need to protect your WIFI by restricting anyone nearby. read the instructions of your router to set up a password which would stop anyone from getting access.

Keep your device updated

  • Make sure your operating system is up to date. Computers commonly use windows or Mac OS and smartphones use Android or Mac OS. It is recommended to keep this up to date to lower the risk of a virus.