Identity fraud is a real thing, and it’s something you should be aware of. In the last six years fraudsters have stolen $35,600 a MINUTE. That’s just insane. It adds up to $112 billion over six years.
With figures like this it’s clear that fraud isn’t happening to a select few; it’s happening to everyone. At Oval we want you to save your hard earned cash and find ways to make your money grow and work for you. In order to do this you need to create a safe space in which to function. We’ve put together some top tips on how to keep your data safe and protect your savings.
Phone and portable devices.
- Always, always, always, have a password.
If you have a partner who gets annoyed because they say they don’t want secrets then just explain to them that if your phone goes missing and it’s doesn’t have a lock on it, soon you will have no secrets from ANYONE the world over.
- Don’t check your bank balance or do any online shopping when not connected to a trusted and password protected wifi service. Shopping on an open network leaves you vulnerable to fraud.
- Don’t save passwords on your device. Hands up, I used to do this because I have a bad memory, but do as I say not as I do. Just because your phone has a lock on it, it doesn’t mean it is 100% safe. If someone cracks it and gets access to your phone then with those passwords they have access to every part of your personal information.
- Do the privacy set up straightaway. As soon as you get your new phone, then go through the privacy settings and make sure you’re as protected as possible. Doing it straight away means you don’t have time to forget about it and get lazy, putting it off until it’s too late.
- Always have your Bluetooth turned off; it’s the equivalent of leaving the front door of your house open.
Laptops and personal computers
- Again, always set an access password for your computer and DON’T then store that password on a post it note taped to the bottom of your laptop case. Keep your record of that password as far from your computer as possible.
- Make sure your wifi has a password. Why? Because by not protecting your wifi you are allowing anyone within the vicinity to use your network, and it becomes a whole lot easier for them to access your information.
- Don’t store personal data on it. Laptops can get stolen, and passwords can be cracked. Once this happens, if you have reams of personal data on your laptop you’re giving the thieves open access to your passwords, addresses, bank accounts, and anything else you can think of.
Information about Passwords
- Where should I store them? Ideally they should be locked safely in your head an nowhere else. If you can’t keep them in your head, then luckily there’re loads of programmes that help you organise all your different passwords so you don’t get continuously locked out of your accounts. [This website]( (https://fieldguide.gizmodo.com/the-5-best-ways-to-store-passwords-safely-1782047318) explain some of the best ways to store them.
- For passwords, stop thinking ‘passwords’ and start thinking ‘passphrases’. They’re longer, more complex, and harder to crack.
Don’t ever do it at an internet or public café. This mostly applies to when you’re travelling abroad and don’t have access to your usual wifi network. They’re notorious for online banking scams, where they monitor your keystrokes or have covert ‘CCTV’ cameras pointed directly at your keyboard to watch what you’re typing.
Don’t fall for phishing emails. Always make sure the email sent from your bank is legitimate. Your bank will never ask you for personal information such as your login details or passwords.
Always make sure the URL is prefixed by the lock symbol and ‘https://’. The S signals the site is secure
Change your password regularly. Don’t keep the same password for 5 years. It just makes it that much easier for scammers to crack. In addition, don’t ever make it your wife/girlfriend’s name, pet’s name, or the name of your street or first school.
- Don’t be afraid to use it. It’s a great tool, and if all goes to hell and you drop your laptop in a pond or something, then all your information is there safely backed up and ready for you to access.
- If you do use it, then don’t store personal info on it. If you HAVE to, for whatever reason, then be sure to encrypt EVERYTHING.
Most importantly when navigating the Internet safely: Decide what’s personal
Don’t share your date of birth or full name if possible. Don’t give out your real address or email address if it’s not necessary, and when you’re creating answers for security answers, give fake answers. All this information you give out trivially can be harvested easily and makes your life, your savings, and your information, all very vulnerable.
Keep yourself and your data safe.