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We love online shopping and Facebook but there are all plenty of easy scams to fall for that could destroy our trust – and bank accounts. Online security expert Grant Dawson reveals how to avoid being scammed online.


1. Ask – is this too good to be true?

$50 here, a holiday there, unlimited online offers from the world’s biggest brands – if you’re tempted by any of these free offers, then the answer is probably yes.
Many online scams trick Aussies into revealing their personal information to secure something in return. It’s important to be aware of ‘fake offers’ to avoid being lured by savvy scammers.


2. Don’t – dish your details unless the site is secure

Never provide personal or financial information in exchange for online offers. Details such as your mobile number, address, and credit card or banking details should never be entered on a non-secure site. When in doubt…

* Double check the URL before typing a link into your browser.

* Check there is a padlock icon in your browser before using your credit card online.

* Check you’re on a secure site and that the address starts with ‘HTTPS’.


3. Think – it can happen to me

Many of us think we are savvy online, but the reality is cybercriminals are cashing in on relaxed attitudes to sharing personal details online. Results from the PC Tools study also showed that most people think scams are more likely to happen to others, rather than themselves.


We need to educate ourselves about online scams and be aware of the risk.


4. Do – invest in scam protection software

What most people don’t realise is some online scams don’t involve malware and while traditional Internet security is still essential, we now require additional protection to prevent cybercriminals gaining personal information via other methods. PC Tools offers Australians protection against online scams. For more information about PC Tools Internet Security visit www.pctools.com/internet-security.
PC Tools Internet Security is available for AU $79.99 (12 month licence for up to three PCs).