Is it safe to make money online? Our top tips to staying e-smart
6th February 2018 is Internet Safety Day. But how safe are we really online? Here’s how to stay safe, whether you’re planning to make money online or not.
The internet really can mean the best of times, and the worst of times. (Let’s face it - it can be both a blessing and a ball ache in equal measure.) But there are all sorts of hints and tips to staying safe online, whether you want to make money online, shop safely or just make sure the kids are safe. Here are a few starter tips to staying e-savvy.
Look for important signs when you shop or make money online
When you want to make money online, or simply do your online shopping, keep in mind the mantra “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is”. If something is far too cheap, it may be a scam (or a cheap imitation). Stick to reputable sites which are recommended by others, and which have a long history of good reviews on Google and/or on Trust Pilot. Don’t be tempted by sites which claim to make you rich overnight (for a better example, Opinion Outpost’s surveys for money will tell you in advance how much you will earn for each paid survey, and we will never promise to make you a millionaire). Use your gut instinct, and if necessary, ask others for recommendations if you are unsure.
Other great tips are looking for the padlock sign in the address bar before you purchase anything online, and ideally pay on credit card so that you’re covered should the item be faulty or unsuitable. You should also look for site addresses which start with “https”, for better protection.
Keep your personal details safe when you shop or make money online
Unfortunately, according to paid surveys, online fraud is on the up. Here are a few ways to help keep your details safe and your accounts secure:
- Set complicated passwords which are different for each site. No pet names or dates of birth – if possible, use something which makes very little sense to anyone and is impossible to guess (even g7Y5%!at0# is not weird and wonderful enough)!
- Only log in on your secure home network (which is password protected, of course) and use a good firewall and anti-virus software.
- Be careful what you click on. Be wary of ‘free’ downloads which aren’t through an official outlet (such as iTunes or the Play Store) and be cautious when clicking on pop-ups and unbelievable news stories. Phishing scams are on the rise as well, according to online surveys, so be very wary of clicking on emails or links which look suspicious. Use a good email account with a sensitive spam filter.
- Be careful what you share. It may be tempting to talk about your pets and children online, but don’t give out any details you wouldn’t to a stranger in the street. Your child’s school, your old address, even your first pet – this is all information which scammers can collect to falsify your identity.
- Back up, back up. Even the savviest of online surfers may pick up some malware from somewhere, so be sure to back up photos and files regularly and change your passwords.
How to keep kids safe online, say online surveys
According topaid surveys, over 40% of UK parents are still unaware what their children are doing online. This is a worrying statistic, as new technology means that sometimes young children suddenly have a world at their fingertips. It’s important for adults to be open with their children about the risks online, and make sure they never share personal information or images online. There are new technologies enabling stricter parental controls, and don’t forget there is a minimum user age for all social media platforms. Experts also recommend keeping the devices only in public ‘family’ areas, limiting their use, and keeping a track of all internet history.
Ten Doves and the NSPCC have some fantastic tips and advice for parents who want to keep their children safe online, so do take a look.
The online surveys on scams and phishing can sound scary, but the internet can be an amazing place full of knowledge, fun and interest. Just treat any website like any stranger you speak to in the street – they may be good, they may not be. Err on the side of caution, keep up to date with the latest scam news, and stay safe online.
Have you ever been caught in an online scam? Did you know all the top tips already, and have you done them all? Got any other tips you can share? Or are you pretty clueless when it comes to scams? Join the discussion on our Facebook page and have your say! And don’t forget to take safe online surveys for cash and make money online in our secure surveys for money! Earn money online the safe way, with Opinion Outpost UK.