The busy festive season is just around the corner so it is now an important time to check your online safety.
Below are a few tips on how to stay smart online over the festive season:
1. Cyber criminals love to wrap up their ‘gifts’ in legitimate looking emails. Don’t be fooled this Christmas, be on alert for scams:
Cybercriminals use seemingly legitimate emails to convince you to download malicious software (malware) on your system. Malware can lock up your computer and demand a ransom, steal your personal details and banking credentials, and manipulate and exploit your system over time. Common scams include fake email gift certificates, e-cards and parcel delivery notifications requesting confirmation of delivery addresses or payment to collect or hold a parcel.
2. Avoiding the crowds at busy shopping malls is just one of the reasons many of us prefer to shop online at Christmas time. Read our tips for shopping safely online this festive season:
Scammers can create fake retailer websites that look like legitimate online retail stores. They can use sophisticated designs like stolen logos, ‘.com.au’ domain names and even stolen Australian Business Numbers.The big give away is that cybercriminals will typically ask you to pay by money order, pre-loaded payment card or wire transfer. Be warned: if you pay this way, it’s highly likely you’ll never see your money again or the item you just ‘bought’.
Be wary when buying products from online auction websites. Don’t deal with people who ask to negotiate or complete a transaction outside the website—no matter what the reason. Check seller reviews, typically shown by scores and comments, before closing any deal.
3. Have you thought about the security of your personal information before you head off on your holiday? Top 5 travelling tips to keep you cyber safe these holidays:
- Use public Wi-Fi safely. Public Wi-Fi in hotels, airports and even cafes can be a prime spot for phishing. It’s also best not to do banking or access sensitive accounts on a public network.
- Don’t over share on social media. Want thieves to know your house is empty or to know exactly where you are?
- Be on the look out for travel scams. Scams are common at this time of year and finding you’ve been duped is an awful Christmas present. Always research the offer and be wary of any travel ‘prizes’. Travel insurance scams are also common, so make sure you research the provider first.
- Password protect your devices. If you’re taking any devices on holiday, make sure they are password protected, preferably with two-factor authentication.
- Notify your bank of your travels. Inform your bank that you are travelling and keep an eye on your accounts for fraudulent transactions. The sooner you notice a fraudulent transaction and report it to your bank, the sooner they can stop the scammer and issue you a new card or account.
4. Don’t let the Christmas grinch ruin your holiday. If you do become the victim of an online scam, take these steps to limit the damage and protect yourself:
- Contact your bank or financial institution: if you’ve inadvertently sent money or personal banking details to a scammer while Christmas shopping, contact your financial institution immediately. They may be able to stop a money transfer or cheque, investigate a fraudulent credit card transaction or even close your account.
- Recover your identity: for free advice contact IDCARE – call 1300 432 273 or go to the ID Care website.
- Report to authorities: if you have been a victim of a cybercrime, report it to your local police by calling 131 444. We also encourage you to report:
- Run anti-virus software on all your devices: if you fear your computer or device has been hacked over the holiday period, run a full anti-virus check.
- Change your online passwords: if you suspect one of your online accounts has been compromised over Christmas, change your password immediately.
It’s that time again – ‘The most wonderful time of the year!’ Even if you are or you’re not a fan of Christmas, chances are you’re having some sort of celebration, big or small, on December 25th. Regardless of whether you’re hosting or visiting a relative’s house, we’ve got 7 things you MUST do, to make sure you have a fantastic stress-free day.
1. Send Christmas cards
With the younger generation it may seem like the art of Christmas card writing is dying, nevertheless there is still a charm to it. There’s nothing better than opening a card from an old friend, and getting that warm feeling inside that they thought of you. If you send one as well, it’s likely you’ll get one in return!
2. Who’s bringing what?
Hosting or not, it’s tradition for every family to contribute with a dish. Some family can get very protective over the food they provide, so make sure you coordinate beforehand if it’s your first Christmas with one side of the family. Last thing you want to do is buy 4 kilos of prawns when Uncle Kevin buys them every year! You may even like to try our seasonal mango and lime cocktails for when the rellies arrive.
3. Make a food or cash donation
It can be very easy to become so absorbed in our own lives at Christmas – especially when there’s a list of parties to go to and dishes to prepare. That’s why we’d suggest you take a moment before Christmas to visit a local charity and make cash or food donation to those not as fortunate, for what can become a lonely time of year for some. If there’s the opportunity to adopt a family through your local charity, this is a worthwhile cause to be involved as well.
4. Deep clean your house
Christmas is naturally the most frantic time of year. The days sometimes merge into one and before you know it it’s 2017 and you’re back at work again! With this in mind, take a few hours out of your day to clean the house and make room in the fridge for new food that you’ll be purchasing. Someone once said a tidy house = a tidy mind!
5. Recharge the batteries – phones, iPads and cameras
If you have children, nephews and nieces, this time of year is an extra special one when they open presents and get involved in the many festivities that Christmas brings. In order to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the priceless moments, recharge your phone, iPad and camera the night before the big day, so you can take plenty of photos and videos to share with your friends on Facebook and Instagram at a later date.
6. Keep a couple of spare gifts wrapped for unexpected guests
It’s Christmas day; all your relatives are arriving, including your niece’s boyfriend, Brad, who you had no idea was coming. Everyone sits down to open the presents from one another, but there’s no present for Brad…queue awkwardness. To save the embarrassment on the big day, buy a couple of generic presents that can be given to any unplanned guests. That way, Brad’s getting a Jamie Oliver cook book, and no awkward look. Want to earn some extra cash whilst you buy your Chrissie presents? Take a look at our Rewards Credit Card!
7. Watch a Christmas movie and relax
At the busiest time of the year, take a moment to sit back and watch a Christmas film. You’ll laugh and cry, but the best part is you’ll have fun watching it, and will no doubt feel a lot less stressed by the end of it. Merry Christmas!
If you’re going abroad this Christmas, firstly lucky you! How did you wing that one? We have a few financial and security travel tips for you to read before you head away.