Learn how to get online and avoid scams

Cybercrime is a big problem in Australia, and this week Scamwatch is partnering with Stay Smart Online to fight the problem that cost Australians $48 million between January and August.

And next week, Get Online Week, National Seniors Australia will stage three special events to help people get online easily and safely.

According to the ACCC’s Scamwatch, many scams go unreported. But research has shown that more than six million Australians were affected by cybercrime last year.

The increase in online scams has coincided with the rising popularity of social media and online shopping. Dating and romance scams are also increasing, with more convincing fake websites.

Here are some tips to protect yourself when online and avoid the pain, money and time it costs to recover from cybercrime:

  • When shopping, check reviews, do your research and only pay with secure methods.
  • Be wary of free downloads and website access, such as music, games, movies and adult sites, as they may install harmful programs without you knowing.
  • Always keep your computer security up to date. Only buy computer and anti-virus software from a reputable source.
  • Don't click on any links or open attachments from emails claiming to be from your bank or another trusted organisation asking you to update or verify your details – just delete the email.
  • Choose passwords and PINs that would be difficult for others to guess and update them regularly. Don't save them on your phone or computer.
  • Never give an unsolicited caller remote access to your computer.

Next week - Get Online Week - is an initiative of the Good Things Foundation. It’s a campaign about digital inclusion focusing on the fun and useful aspects of becoming more computer savvy.

The theme for Get Online Week is #try1thing, which is all about encouraging people who are not connected, to try one new thing online.

National Seniors and its branches are organising three events in and around Brisbane. Details are:

16 October 2018, 1-3.30pm, New Farm Branch, Uniting Church Hall, 52 Methyr Rd, New Farm

Join in the launch of the New Farm Branch’s Be Connected digital learning program. Find out how they’ll be delivering the program, and how and what you can learn. And enjoy afternoon tea! Contact 0411 292 453 to register.

17 October 2018, 9.45am-noon, Karstans Function Centre, Level 24, 215 Adelaide Street, Brisbane

Plan a holiday, send a Tweet, fill a prescription or play Yahtzee with a friend across the world … this event is all about trying one new thing online and seeing the fun and convenience the internet can bring. Come along to our bring-your-own device event and we will give you information that you can take away to continue your online learning. Contact 07 3233 9141 or email events@nationalseniors.com.au to register.

18 October 2018, 9.30-11.30am, The Terraces, 34 Tewantin Way, Forest Lake

A fun event where guests can try one new thing online in a relaxed environment with other seniors on hand to help. Guests are encouraged to bring their own laptop, smart phone or tablet if they have one. A great morning tea will be provided. Call Mary on 0403 006 758 to register. 

For more information, go to www.nationalseniors.com.au/members/events

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