If you get an email from an unknown source, do not click any of the links within it. Many phishing scams involve emails from what seem like legitimate sites — banks, online stores, anything you might trust — and then send you to a phony site where they can gather your information.
Remember: real sites won’t ask for important information over email!
Passwords for logging into any website should contain a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters. Remember to change your password regularly, a good guide is to change every 3 to 6 months and always use different passwords for each website that you log into. It can definitely be a pain to remember all of these passwords but ask yourself which is more of a pain – remembering these or recovering stolen personal information.
Shopping from familiar websites is a good place to start. Stick with the reputable sites that are tried and true – like Amazon or eBay. Also, when checking out and finalising the purchase, look for the ‘padlock’ symbol or the abbreviation ‘https’ in the address bar at the top of your browser. This will ensure that you are on a secure, encrypted part of this webpage.
Free Wi-Fi is tempting but there are risks to be aware of when using it. Public connections at the local coffee shop are usually unsecured and leave your machine open to outsiders and potential identify theft.