EXPERT ADVICE ON INTERNET FRAUDS AND SCAMS
AS a Baby Boomer, I say to myself “If this looks too good to be true, it probably is.”
On the internet, criminals can steal your identity, sell you goods that never arrive or “phish” you – trick you into responding to their official-sounding email. If you do, you either reveal your bank details to criminals, or you allow them to enter your computer or phone.
Protecting yourself from scams entails different layers of security.
First, secure your computers and smartphones physically: restrict or control others’ use of your devices, limit who knows your access passwords and change them often.
Use security and antivirus software, and be careful about switching on things such as location services.
Second, be smart about social media. What information are you sharing? Have you restricted access to your profile? Do you need to share your date of birth? Must you geo-tag your selfies? Who’s looking at your data and what are they using it for?
Third, who are you interacting with online? If you use the web to manage banking, superannuation or share broking, the official site should have a padlock in the URL field when you log in, indicating a secure server. If in doubt, call the institution and ask. Finally, if the goods you’re buying online seem very cheap and they’re being sold by a site you haven’t heard of, check the address, make a phone call, try to work out who it is. Mark Bouris is executive chairman of wealth management and advice firm Yellow Brick Road.