Actions to help keep your accounts safe
Are you making it easy for fraudsters?
Learn how to create strong passwords and help protect your social media accounts with our fraud-prevention tips. They’ll help you to stay digitally safe.
Protect yourself on social media
The use of social media to get your personal details is increasing. Many people will instantly think of hacking – but a great deal of fraud on social media comes from fraudsters piecing together information about users from various social channels – such as your name, date of birth, location – and even your bank details.
Once they’ve gathered enough information, fraudsters can pretend to be you in order to take out loans or make purchases online.
There are ways to protect yourself from this type of fraud.
Keep your social accounts safe
- Think twice before posting personal information on any social media channel. This includes your location when you’re at home, and using your name and year of birth in your username
- Review your privacy settings – is your profile accessible to everyone?
- Be wary of friends asking for personal details – especially if they relate to your bank account. Your friends’ accounts could be compromised, so speak to them directly to see if the request is genuine
Remember, if a stranger on the street asks for your full name, date of birth and your address, you probably wouldn’t give it to them. You shouldn’t online either.
Using public Wi-Fi
The security risk associated with using public Wi-Fi is that fraudsters could intercept anything you’re doing online. They could capture passwords for any account you sign in to, and read your private emails.
This can happen if the connection between your device and the Wi-Fi network isn’t encrypted – or if someone created a spoof hotspot that fools you into thinking it’s a real one.
Ways to keep your device safe on public Wi-Fi:
- Unless you’re using a secure web page, don’t send or receive private information
- Wherever possible, use well-known hotspot providers1
- Want to check your work emails or company network? You should use a secure and encrypted Virtual Private Network (VPN)
- Don’t leave your smartphone, tablet, laptop or dongle unattended
- Be aware of who’s around you and may be watching what you’re doing online
- Remember that using a secure Wi-Fi connection doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take other online security precautions
Picking a PIN or passcode
When it comes to choosing a PIN or passcode, pick something that’s easy for you to remember, but hard for anyone else to guess. That means you should avoid choosing something a fraudster could find out, like your birthday. You should also avoid obvious sequences of letters or numbers too, like ‘1234’ or ‘abcd’.
It's your responsibility to choose a strong PIN and keep it safe – this means not sharing it with others, even if you know them well. Also, you should never write your PIN down. If it’s found by someone else, it could be used with your card.
Make sure you take the necessary action to keep your details safe. Remember, your bank will never ask for your PINs or passwords in any correspondence.
Create a strong password
A robust password makes it harder for fraudsters to access your accounts. Your passwords should be at least 10 characters long, a mixture of numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters and other symbols – such as exclamation marks.
Avoid simple words that can be easily guessed, like ‘password’ or ‘user’. Instead, try coming up with a rule for your passwords. For example, you could think of a phrase that’s memorable to you, such as ‘I started school at Baker Secondary School in 2000!’ and use the initial letter of each word in the sentence – like this: ‘IssaBSSi2000!’.
To reduce the risk of fraud on your accounts, you should change your password regularly – at least once every 3 months – and always change default passwords as soon as possible.
It’s your responsibility to take these actions to help prevent fraud.
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