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Staying safe on the Internet

Many of us in our Westmont community use the internet on a regular basis. Here are some basic rules to consider following when you start using the internet even more in retirement to communicate by email and/or to use for your shopping on-line.

Points to note for anyone using the internet:

  1. Never open an email from a sender whose name you do not recognise. Delete. If it is genuine, the sender will send it again or contact you by phone. Opening it could give the rogue sender (scammer) the opportunity to see information on your computer without you knowing.
  2. While on the issue of opening an email, a further and more dangerous action would be if the email requests you to click on a LINK provided, or open an ATTACHMENT. This sort of activity would most certainly open the door for a scammer to invade your private information and possibly take control and sometimes demand money.
  3. Never give any information on your Bank details to any request from an online enquiry. Banks do not request information without observing very strict rules. Banks will never give you classified information on the telephone. You will normally receive this by ordinary mail, codes or instructions or in some cases a special card reader for you to maintain both your and the Bank’s security.
  4. Be aware that using the same password to access different areas of the Internet is not advisable. Taking this easy way out means that any other person can also have access to that same information should they discover your password. A ‘Tip’ here, is you only need to make subtle changes to a password (changing a couple of letters for numbers) to make the password different and stronger. You can also use certain symbols in your password.
  5. Also, while on the matter of passwords, choosing a mixture of lower and upper case letters is another method to add difficulty to anyone trying to access your information.
  6. Most of us as we get older develop short term memories and while being able to remember things in the distant past, sometimes we have lapses with short term memories. Ensure you keep a record of your passwords, but be careful where you store them, probably in a couple of places might be a good idea, but not on the computer!

These points are worth noting as straight forward actions to help you remain safe on the internet. Another way to protect yourself would be to install antivirus software on your computer to stop computer viruses gaining access to your computer.

One final point, scammers have techniques to get between you and another organisation, having achieved this they then email you pretending to be that organisation. If there is money in your transaction you could lose it all, so please be vigilant and be sure the company you are dealing with is who you think they are.

So be careful, but enjoy the technology, it has many great features!

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