Property fraud is on the rise and fraud methods are changing all the time. Where houses are involved, so are large amounts of money. Criminals may see this as a ‘get rich quick’ investment scheme, or they may steal personal details of homeowners to sell or re-mortgage their property.
This guide outlines useful advice on what you can do to help protect yourself. We have also put together our top ten general cyber safe tips:
Staying Cyber Safe
As we grow more dependent upon technology, we need to develop better online security defenses. These ten top tips will help you to recognize and counter threats to your digital safety and become less vulnerable to cyberattacks.
- Be vigilant when sending money to new recipients, and be careful when providing your own bank details to others. We will never tell you of any changes to our own bank details by e-mail, text message, WhatsApp, or any other electronic method, and do not accept details that have been sent the same way.
- Always make sure to use secure passwords, using a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters, whilst making sure to set different passwords for each website/account you use. A piece of software called a ‘Password Manager’ can help you to store and organise your passwords.
- Make sure to keep the system software on all your electronic devices, such as PCs, Phones, tablets, etc, fully updated, and check that your computer has all its security settings, such as the ‘Firewall’ and antivirus, enabled.
- Do not open e-mails that look suspicious, particularly if they have files attached. Fraudulent e-mails are often sent with a design that mimics that of a genuine company, so you should be cautious even if it may appear genuine at first glance.
- Never share your passwords, or give someone remote access to your computer.
- Be cautious when using public Wi-Fi, and do not use it to send any personal information such as bank details. As the network will be open to everyone, you never know who else may be connected.
- Check your bank statements frequently, and make sure to contact your bank immediately if you notice anything that seems unusual.
- Be careful about posting personal information on social media, and think carefully about who might be able to see your posts. Personal questions such as ‘What is your Mother’s maiden name?’ and ‘Where did you go to school?’ are common security questions for bank accounts, and the answers may be easy to find on your social media.
- When replacing a device, such as a phone, make sure that it is fully re-set to factory settings to ensure it is fully wiped of all your personal data.
- When sending payments, or shopping online, make sure that website address starts with ‘https’ and not ‘http’. The ‘S’ stands for ‘Secure’ and means the connection is encrypted and designed to protect against any attempts at fraud.