Firewalls protect your computer from unauthorised access and are the starting point for keeping you and your personal information safe. A firewall helps prevent unauthorised access to your computer while allowing you to connect to the internet and use your computer as normal. There are many different firewall applications available, and they often come installed as standard these days. It’s crucial that you keep your firewall up-to-date and turned on at all times.
A screen sharing scam is the method a scammer might use to access your personal information or your accounts to transfer out your money. You may be contacted out of the blue through social media, by phone, or when searching online, for example for an investment opportunity or company contact details.
Once a scammer has contacted you, they will try and gain your trust and convince you they can help. The type of scams may vary, whether that's help with an investment or a banking service, the scammer will typically ask you to download legitimate screen sharing software. This could be software you've heard of or have used before with work, friends or family on your mobile, laptop or computer. Examples of this type of software include, but are not limited to, AnyDesk, Microsoft Teams, TeamViewer, Zoom.
The scam can only take place if you download the software and hand over control of your screen. Once they have control of your screen, your personal information can be accessed, including any financial information, such as your online banking details.
Anti-virus software periodically scans for known viruses and prevents them from infecting your computer. As new viruses are being discovered daily, make sure that you have the latest updates installed.
Malicious Software (Malware) including 'trojan's' and 'spyware' are often deployed during phishing attacks and can provide cyber criminals with remote access to your device and applications. Once installed, the software can be used to capture your keystrokes and all the information you type. Armed with this, as well as access to your mailbox and/or Bank details, the criminals are then able to complete fraudulent transactions as if they were you. Anti-virus and anti-spyware software can scan for and remove malicious programs. Make sure you have the latest updates installed.
Up-to-date software - all major application developers will release ‘patches’, which fix known problems or enhance the software. You should install updates for your computer, tablet or phone as soon as they’re available. We recommend that you enable the ‘Automatic update’ feature of your software.
Secure your wireless connection
It’s important that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions to secure your wireless connection. This will:
- Protect your information from being intercepted, and
- Prevent your broadband connection from being accessed without your knowledge.
Smartphones and tablets have freed us to go online anywhere there’s a network signal, wifi router or public hotspot. For many people, these mobile devices are rapidly taking over from computers for email, social networking, gaming, shopping and banking. This makes them a prime target for criminals, so it's essential to take mobile security precautions:
- Always protect your mobile device with a PIN that only you know, or where possible biometrics, such as fingerprints or retina scans
- Download apps and games only from official app stores and websites
- Use internet security software designed for mobile devices, and ensure it’s always updated
- Never open, reply to emails, texts or instant messages if you don't know who they’re from, and never open links or attachments unless you’re absolutely certain who they’re from
- Switch off sharing technology like Bluetooth, unless you need it
- Protect your mobile device when out and about. Keep it in a safe place
- Some mobile device manufacturers offer free 'find my device' services if your device is stolen or lost
- Always be aware of anyone looking over your shoulder ('shoulder surfers') when using your mobile device
- Ensure your wifi at home or office is secured, and that any public wifi hotspots you may be using are secure