Staying vigilant for potential fraud while online can be tricky, especially as fraudsters are becoming ever more sophisticated in their techniques to seduce and confuse. However, it seems that many people are failing to do all they can to protect themselves and their money while online.
Indeed, research carried out by Privilege Insurance revealed that over the last 12 months, 19% of survey respondents have accidentally downloaded a virus on their computer by clicking on an attachment, while 12% have had their emails hacked and 13% have accidentally opened a 'phishing' email.
Clearly, the risk of becoming a victim of online fraudsters is a very real one, but the research also revealed that many of us are being blasé and are not taking adequate steps to protect ourselves - nearly two-thirds of those questioned admitted that they have the same password for some or all of their accounts, including banking and emails, while a tenth confessed that they had also shared their bank details electronically. Nevertheless, 16% of those asked who own computers and laptops reported that they do not have the most up-to-date antivirus software.
"Our homes are our castles and it can be hard to come to terms with the fact that we can't always protect ourselves and our families by locking the front door," commented Dan Simson of Privilege. "However, it is possible to take simple steps to protect against making basic online mistakes – making sure antivirus software is up to date, making sure you always buy from trusted companies and not sharing personal information like mobile numbers online are simple ways to keep your home safe beyond its physical borders."
If you've been a victim of online fraud, or you are worried that your security isn't up to scratch, there is no time like the present to get yourself protected. Make sure you use different passwords for your online activities, especially your bank account, and try to change them regularly if possible. It's also important to check that you have the latest antivirus on your computer and other electronic devices.
Remember that your bank or building society will never ask you for your password or PIN number, so never share these details with anyone.
To find out more about how you can protect yourself from fraudsters online, read our handy guide.
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
Moneyfacts.co.uk will, like most other websites, place cookies onto your computer’s
hard drive. This includes tracking cookies.