EWN Community Guides: How to avoid internet scams in Spain

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THE internet has brought many people in Spain a way to stay in touch with loves ones abroad, buy from our favourite brands around the world and book our travel.

Surfing the internet in Spain also has its downsides though, and the rise in online scams is one of them.

But how do we protect ourselves from online scams?

Here, as part of its EWN Community Guides series, the Euro Weekly News sets out how to avoid internet scams in Spain.

The Spanish office for internet users, OSI, says there are five main ways to protect yourself when online, including when on your mobile, tablet and computer.

1. Configure your devices

OSI says it is important to make sure all your devices are set up to protect you against harmful viruses and scams.

They recommend installing anti-virus software on all your devices.  This can include free options from major brands.  To avoid viruses they also recommend installing any updates on your anti-virus software.

Viruses are commonly sent through emails or messages to your phone.  OSI recommends not clicking on any links that are sent to you that look dubious and never to connect a USB to your computer if you do not know where is from.

They also recommend staying up to date with information about scams by following them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/osiseguridad, where they have information about the scams circulating in Spain.

2. Establish secure internet connections

Having WiFi at home without a password not only allows other people to use your internet, potentially slowing your connection, but could also allow others to steal your details.  OSI recommends that you should put a good password on your WiFi.

They also recommend taking care when using public WiFi without a password, as this is another place where hackers can potentially steal your information.

They say that if you do use public WiFi you should disable any synchronistion processes on your computer, not to log in to any services while connected to a public network, and avoiding making banking transactions, online purchases or any other task that involves the exchange of private data.

3. Safeguard your information

OSI recommends protecting the information we share online by configuring privacy options on social media profiles and controlling who has access to your posts.

They also recommend reading the privacy policies of companies before signing up to any new online services.

4. Be careful with your online activity

Many browsers offer the option to remember information about us, including our passwords.  This can be handy for avoiding having to remember the many passwords we now need to access a lot of our online information.

However, if someone else gains access to our device they would also have access to all our passwords. Therefore, OSI recommends not using this.

5. Have information about the most common scams

There are several scams that are the most common online and OSI says you should be aware of these.

They include phishing scams, where hackers try to gain your banking information by sending scam messages claiming to be from your bank and requesting personal information.

Further common scams include fraudulent job offers and sellers claiming to sell items for much lower than their normal price to get access to your banking details.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article, do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.