Keeping yourself safe online

Find out how to protect yourself from some of those hidden ‘nasties’ that can sometimes creep up on us while online. 

Keeping yourself safe online

Find out how to protect yourself from some of those hidden ‘nasties’ that can sometimes creep up on us while online. 

Dangers on the Internet 

There are hundreds of different scams out there that come in the forms of letters, emails, phone calls and websites. Although they disguise themselves in different ways, they usually all have the same ultimate goal, to get your money.

We have listed some of the more common hoax/phishing scams that are out there on the internet: 

Online Dangers

Although all scams can be a means to steal your identity, a common phishing scam is to impersonate your Credit Union or utility provider and direct you to a site where you a required to enter in your login details to verify you. These can be very tricky to spot, so it pays to check every link before clicking on it.

If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Winning an online lottery draw that you never entered or a long distant cousin passing away and leaving you funds, is a long-time favourite for online scammers. If the news is coming from a site or sender that you have never heard of before, just delete the message and carry on.

This is when a scammer pretends to be a government authority or a representative from a trusted company and pressures you into paying immediately. Usually targeting vulnerable people, the scammers threaten the victim in the form of possibly cutting off utilities, police intervention or additional fees if payment isn’t made.

The online shopping market has boomed over the last decade and so has the number of fake sites along with it. Scammers create convincing fake websites that get us to purchase/bid for goods that are never actually going to come. If you do end up getting to checkout and are asked to pay by wire transfer or to enter your credit card details into a non-secured web page, you might want to stop and start asking questions.

Scammers create fake profiles on dating websites, apps or social media platforms and attempt to create a relationship with you to retrieve personal material or information. They may ask you to send them funds to assist with a personal/family crisis, they may also use any personal information/material you have sent them, against you in order to blackmail you for money.

Things to watch out for

Although scammers are getting more cleaver, they still struggle with using correct spelling and grammar in their messages. Often these scammers are operating overseas, so English isn’t their first language. Look out for spelling mistakes or grammatical errors, a verified business or company representative would usually pick these up before sending out communication to a customer.

Communication that seems to be jumping the gun and prompting you for immediate action is another thing to watch out for from scammers. Often being straight to the point, scammers will try have all their instructions and information in the one message so that the message can be widely sent out. If the message seems to be generic and doesn’t specifically look like it applies to you, ring up your service supplier and ask to speak to someone about it. 

A random email address or number contacting you, should be enough to raise any red flags. Don’t be afraid to question anyone contacting you, you are well within your rights to hang up a phone call or not reply to an email. Instead try searching up the contact details and ringing a representative yourself.

The dangerous thing about everything being online, is the fact that it only takes one mouse click to infect our computer with a virus or to take us to an unsecured web page and have our details stolen. Before clicking on any link that has been sent in an email, hover your mouse over the link and see what the URL is that appears at the bottom left hand side of your screen above your task bar. If the URL looks recognisable and has “https” at the front of it, then feel free to click it. If you still don’t feel comfortable, then search up the intended website link yourself.

Tips to Protect Yourself Online 

Long strong passwords: Use multiple long passwords that don’t contain personal information and don’t write these down. It is recommended to use random phrases that are easy to remember but difficult for bots and scammers to guess.

Never share your pin or credit card number online: Once you send something online, that information is available to everyone. If you send a pin, password or credit card information through email, a Facebook message or an unsecured web page, hackers can access that information do what they like with it. We strongly recommend never sharing this information with anyone.

Hover over web links or search them yourself: We mentioned this before but it can’t hurt to have it twice. Hover your mouse over web links before you click on them and inspect the URL for “https”. If the link does not have the “s” then this means the website does not have a security certificate and any information you enter can be taken from hackers.

Don’t reply, just delete the email: If you believe you have been targeted by a scammer, don’t reply or click into the email and delete it right away. This is your best bet to protecting yourself from the potential scam.

Keep your Credit Union informed: Once you have deleted the message, contact your Credit Union or banking service provider and let them know of the communication you received. They should be able to confirm whether it was sent from them or not and then they will be able to pass on a message to other members, informing them of the scam.

Find out who you are dealing with: Unsure on the legitimacy of the business/person you are dealing with? Google them and do your own research. Quite often if it is a scam, you won’t have been the first person to receive it. Someone out there may have posted information or announced the scam before you.

Don't share banking/personal information while on a public Wi-Fi network: Hackers are known to steal information from unsuspecting people who are logged into shared public Wi-Fi networks. It is advised to not perform internet banking when on these public unprotected networks and instead wait until you are at home on a secured network.

Safety Features

We aim to make the online banking experience as safe as possible for our members. You can read up on some of our safety features below:

Two-Factor Authentication: Certain transfers and the addition of new payees require two-factor authentication. This double up of authentication helps ensure that you are made aware of significant actions being made on your account if someone else has access to it.

Password Strength Level Requirements: All personal passwords must pass a minimal strength level requirement before being accepted. This is to ensure member’s accounts are secure from hackers randomly generating password entries.

Internet Banking App Download: The initial download of the app requires full internet banking username and password to prevent unauthorised access.

Dedicated Member Services Team: Our member’s services team are actively investigating any unusual activity on member’s accounts. Our team will contact you if they believe there is any suspicious transactions being made and confirm that these are being made from you. Let us know in advance if you are planning on leaving the country and spending money overseas, this will help us when investigating unusual spending.

What Should I do if I Have been Scammed? 

Ring us immediately if you believe you have been scammed or if someone is attempting to scam you. As your banking service provider, we will be able to investigate any activity on your account and take the necessary action where required.

Our staff will never ask you for your internet banking/mobile banking password. If someone rings up stating that they are from Unity and requests your password, please hang up and call us. Let us know what the caller said so the scam can be reported and a notice can be sent out if required.

If you wish to speak to someone in person, you can view our Contact Us Page below and find your nearest branch.


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