Trolls and Trojans - thievery in the digital age


In the vast world of the online you may come across all kinds of unpleasant and often medieval-sounding characters – trolls, trojans, worms, spyware, phishers ‑ these are all things you don’t really want getting at your online stuff.

As online identity theft becomes more of an issue, keeping your finances and online data private is very important. It’s not always failsafe but you can be smart about how you operate online to protect yourself. Here are some tips from Forbes.

  • 1. Think before you buy

    If you like to do a bit of online shopping make sure you only buy from trusted, well-known and secure sites. There are many small sites that don’t have adequately secure payment systems so be wary. And if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.


  • 2. Keep track of your credit report

    These can be obtained from a number of different agencies. Learn more here if you are in Australia. If you are in NZ, you can find more information here.

    Your credit report can alert you to any fraudulent accounts that may have been opened under your name.


  • 3. Phishing – how to spot it

    This is a technique used to retrieve your information by pretending to be a site you trust, such as your bank. Look out for requests for different information than normal and keep an eye on the URL of the site - make sure it is where you want to be.

  • 4. Keep your network secure

    Make sure your wireless network is secure – your wireless router should come with instructions for this. Hackers can easily gain access to information from unsecured networks. 


  • 5. Avoid spam

    Spam emails can contain messages from phishers and can also contain viruses that can get into your computer and gain access to your information. Install spam-filtering software and don’t open attachments or click on links in junk e-mail.


  • 6. Be careful where you store your details

    Don't store personal information or account details on non-secure websites.


  • 7. Bank alerts

    Set up your online banking so that text or email alerts are sent to you when external transactions are taking place. This way you will know if your money is moving. Check your bank and credit card statements on a monthly basis.
  • 8. Password security

    Don’t reuse your passwords. It may take a bit more thought and effort but set up a system so that you can have different passwords for your accounts. Read more here about password security.


  • 9. Security questions

    Use these to protect your accounts. Make sure you use questions that the answers are not easily available in public records.

  • 10. Public computers

    Be vigilant when using public computers. Always log out of your accounts properly and make sure you don’t save login information on these computers.


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