Here are some ‘golden rules’ you should follow whenever you’re online. That way, you have a better chance of staying safeguarded.
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  Choose, use and protect your passwords carefully, and use a different one for every account.
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  Ensure you always have internet security software/app loaded, kept updated and switched on.
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  Never reveal too much personal or financial information … you never know who might see it, or use it.
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  Don’t click on links or open attachments if the source isn’t 100% known and trustworthy.
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  Take your time and think twice, because everything may not be as it seems.
INTRODUCTION
You can find more information on these and our other tips at www.getsafeonline.org
PROTECTING YOUR DEVICES
With most of us relying on the internet to one degree or another to communicate, manage our finances, obtain products and services and enjoy entertainment, it really is a wonderful resource. Unfortunately, however, things can and do go wrong online, with an increasing number of people of all ages and backgrounds being affected by fraud, identity theft and abuse – some of it originating in the UK, but a great deal from abroad. There are simple technical steps we can all take to protect ourselves, but most problems can be avoided by making sure we always follow some simple rules and use our common sense. This booklet provides some useful tips which we recommend you read and follow when online, and pass on to someone who you think may benefit from them. Keep it somewhere handy as a memory-jogger as you never know when you may need a quick reminder.   
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SHOPPING      If you’re buying online from a retailer or individual you’re not familiar with, make sure they’re reputable and honest by getting recommendations or customer reviews. Is the payment page secure? There should be a padlock symbol in the browser window frame which appears when you attempt to log in or register, and the address of the page should start with ‘https://’ The ‘s’ stands for ‘secure’. Unless you know the seller personally, never pay by direct transfer into their bank account. This is a common scam and you’ll have little chance of getting your money back. Don’t buy online when you’re using unsecured Wi-Fi, such as a hotspot in a café or hotel. Logging in to a hotspot is no indication it’s secure, so use 3G/4G instead, or wait until you get home to your secure Wi-Fi. Remember that paying by credit card offers greater protection from fraud, non-delivery and dishonoured product warranties. Use different passwords for the shopping, auction and buy/sell sites you use, in case your details get hacked from one or more of them. When you’ve finished your shopping session, always log  out of the site because closing your browser isn’t enough. Check your payment card statements regularly to make sure you’ve been charged the right amount, and check your card hasn’t been cloned and other purchases made in your name.
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Never disclose passwords or other personal information in response to an email, phone call, text, social media post or letter purporting to be from your bank or other official organisation, however genuine they may seem. Real organisations never ask you for this information.  Any communication from banks will use your actual name (not ‘Sir’, ‘Madam’ or ‘Customer’) and possibly  another verification of authenticity such as your  postcode or part of your account number. However desperate you are to check your account or make a payment, don’t bank online when you’re using unsecured Wi-Fi, such as a hotspot in a café or hotel. Logging in to a hotspot is no indication it’s secure, so use 3G/4G instead, or wait until you get home to your secure Wi-Fi. Only ever visit your bank’s website by entering the address into your browser or using a bookmark you have created using the correct address. Don’t lend your payment cards or reveal their PINs – to anybody else, however trustworthy they may seem. Always check your statements, and if you notice any unusual transactions report them immediately. You   never   know   if   the   person   behind   or   beside   you   is dishonest.   You   need   to   be   aware   of   ‘shoulder   surfers’ viewing your computer or mobile device screen, or at the ATM. Also, if you spot anything irregular at the ATM like an unusual card slot or fascia, don’t use it, but report it to your bank.
FINANCE
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Be careful who you accept as friends or contacts, especially if you get a request from people you don’t know personally. They might not be who they seem, and could potentially cause you harm. Don’t get persuaded into actions or thoughts that you’re not comfortable with, or that you know deep down are wrong. Sending intimate images and being persuaded into extremist behaviour are just two examples. Be careful about what private or confidential information about yourself or your family you reveal in posts or profiles, that could let criminals piece together a picture of you. Phone numbers, pictures of your home, workplace or school, your address or birthdays are all examples. What goes online stays online. Don’t say anything or publish pictures that might offend or embarrass you or someone else, get you into trouble or mean lost opportunities now or at any point in the future. Review your privacy settings and friend/contact lists regularly. Set up a separate email account to register and receive mail from the site. Consider a Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail or gmail account as these are fast and easy to set up. Never post comments that are abusive or may offend individuals or groups of society. Trolling can be very upsetting for the victim, and some cases may be a criminal offence. Be on your guard against phishing scams, including fake friend requests and posts from companies inviting you to visit other pages or sites.
SOCIAL MEDIA
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