Online security

How do I spot a scam email?
Some fraudsters try to steal personal information like bank card details by masquerading as a trustworthy sender in an email (this is known as phishing). By sending a message claiming to be from a legitimate person or company, they trick you into visiting or submitting your details to an unsecure site.
It might be a scam email when…
It asks for personal information like your bank or payment details, username or password
The sender’s address is different to a relevant website address
There’s a suspicious sense of urgency, like a threat that your account will be closed unless you take immediate action
It’s a generic greeting such as ‘Dear customer’
You weren’t expecting it
If you’re at all worried, don’t click on any links, open any attachments or forward these to anyone else. Instead, you could contact the company to find out if an email is trustworthy. And you can always get the information you need from their website rather than a link in an email.

How do I pick a safer password?

Make it easy to remember but impossible to guess.

Like so…

  • Consider basing your password on a sentence or phrase. And use a mix of numbers and characters.
  • Avoid using the same password for all your online accounts.
  • Don’t use people’s names – these can be easily cracked using common hacking tools.
  • Avoid choosing your username.
  • Never give your password to anyone.
  • Try to avoid words that, with a bit of research on social media, can be guessed.

Here are some examples:

  • Phrases that are easy to remember – Pick1flower!
  • A number of characters – $snakesintheforest1
  • A mix of symbols – $uccess!$thekey

But don’t use these ones – make sure you think up your own. Obviously.


How do I avoid computer viruses?

Protect your computer from viruses by downloading the most-up-to-date software. Some examples are McAfee, Norton and AVG, although other anti-virus products are available.

You can also protect your computer from viruses by setting your operating system updates to automatic.


Want a bit more advice on staying safe online?