Have you ever received an email from someone telling you that a wealthy prince in a remote part of the world has died and has left you all his riches?
If only it was true!
Scams are fraudulent schemes that dupe people into parting with money or their personal details, and they’ve been around for as long as we can remember. Online scammers frequently target people through emails, internet banking systems, SMS messages and social media.
While online fraud is becoming ever more sophisticated, people are still getting caught out by traditional scam letters and phone calls.
The police, the government and the banks in Malta have repeatedly urged the public to be wary. If your gut tells you not to trust something, you should probably listen to it. Some internet scams are obvious but others can be clever and downright cruel.
Here’s our Melita guide to help you spot them and swat them.
1. Never give out your personal info
By this, we don’t mean that you shouldn’t be signing up for newsletters or engaging in
the things you love. We mean your personal info, your address, mobile number, age or
bank details. Never include sensitive information in an email.
2. Don’t click on links in unidentified emails, texts and direct messages
If something seems fishy, go directly to the source. Hover over suspicious links before you click them and check the destination URL to see if it matches. The same rules apply to any documents attached to an email. To ensure you’re not caught out: Never, ever, ever, ever, EVER open an attachment unless you’re 100% sure of its contents. EVER.
3. Add a layer of security
Most internet browsers have anti-phishing tools which you can install, often for free. They quickly scan the web pages you visit and block any that look risky or malicious. You should also check that you are on a secure site by making sure that the URL starts with the letters ‘https’. Your browser will also display a closed padlock icon near the URL bar.
4. Just because a website is listed on Google doesn’t mean it is safe
Search engines like Google and Bing have only one job, to provide you with the results that you are searching for. While most of the results are vetted and ranked over time through their own security algorithms, search engines can still inadvertently direct you to a phishing site.
5. Update your browser regularly
Most modern browsers automatically update themselves with security patches that are released in response to the ever changing threats in the digital world. Don’t ignore prompts by your browser when it comes to installing the latest updates on your laptop and your Melita smartphone.
6. Change your passwords regularly
This should be a given, but it is easy for us to get complacent and adapt the mentality of ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it’.
But when a problem does occur, it’ll be twice as hard to retrieve your accounts and data. Also, don’t use the same password for all of your accounts as this increases the risk of a phishing attack spreading. Use multi factor authentication and recovery email addresses whenever possible.
7. Get free antivirus software
Antivirus programmes have a multitude of benefits, one of which is that they guard against technology loopholes which allow cybercrimes to take place. Anti-spyware and firewalls are used to contain and control phishing attacks while a scan on every file that goes onto your computer is also beneficial. Whichever software you opt for, just make sure that it is updated regularly.
Despite all of the above, there’s no need to live in fear of the internet.
Like anything else in life, it needs to be treated with a sense of responsibility so that you can safely enjoy the benefits of being connected with Melita.
Need more help to improve your Melita experience? We obsess about the level of service we provide. That’s why we have our Customer Service Promises which ensure that you get the quickest installation, the smoothest self-service and the most reliable customer care. Visit our online Help Centre to view our frequently asked questions.