Play it safe online 

This week was Neighbourhood Supports scam awareness week. Scam emails or phishing is a common problem and very tricky to police.

Essentially most phishing is generated overseas and not subject to New Zealand law as such.

There are things that can be done to prevent receiving scam and spam emails.

Consider using different email addresses for your various online accounts.

For instance you might have one email address for shopping online and a different address for online news groups.

Do not to link all your electronic addresses together (known as “daisy chaining”). If one address is compromised in the chain it may be possible to compromise additional associated addresses.

Provide your personal email address only to people and organisations you know and trust. If you must give out your email address, consider your options such as using a separate account for that particular service.

Ensure you understand what you are agreeing to online when subscribing to a service, making a purchase or downloading an application. Ensure that you have marked any check boxes appropriately, carefully reading any associated terms and conditions.

Only download applications from trusted sources.

Beware of emails from an unknown or dubious source. Never open email attachments or click hyperlinks included in a message that you were not expecting, or were sent from an unknown sender.

Never provide personal or financial information such as passwords or credit card information to an unknown or untrusted person or website.

Use strong, unique passwords for each of your accounts and include two-factor authentication where possible.

Report spam messages. Once reported you can delete or mark the message as spam in your account.

Spam can be reported directly to Netsafe on their website.

Phishing or banking scams attempt to look like a well-known bank or financial institution in their message and urge you to click on links and enter your bank account details, credit card information, password, passport information, home address, or even your IRD number.

Don’t click on links in phishing emails or TXT messages. Many of these links take you to fake websites. Typing in your details could result in your bank account being emptied by fraudsters. And your computer could become infected with a virus.

In short, never give your personal information to any unsolicited email or text. Always do your due diligence

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