Always check that the website address of the site you are using is correct. Cyber criminals can create fake website addresses which look very similar to the real website address, such as misspelling the name of the company.

Get ahead of the cyber criminals and wherever possible type the address of the website directly into the browser or search for the website using a search engine.

A website can still be a fake website if it has a padlock and/or ‘https’ in the address bar. These simply mean data is encrypted when transferred over the internet, not that the website itself is trustworthy.

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a service you can sign up to in order to improve your online privacy. By securing your connection to the internet, a VPN can help protect your online data (usernames, passwords, bank details) from prying eyes.

Think of a VPN as a tunnel between you and the secure website you’re trying to access. 

VPNs are especially useful if you use public Wi-Fi hotspots, where you can’t be sure if the network is legitimate or if a criminal is tracking your online activity. If you’re accessing the web on a secure, trusted network at home, there is less reason to use a service such as a VPN.

Before committing to a particular brand, it is important to thoroughly research the product on offer - looking at reviews and what other people are saying about a particular VPN is a good place to start. A safe VPN can connect you to the internet securely, a bad VPN may share your data with third parties as a way to make a profit – always read the terms and conditions to see what, if anything, they do with your data.

 

More information on this is available on the Get Safe Online website.