Gen Y urged to surf net safely

YOUNG Southern Downs residents have been urged to protect their personal information when surfing the net.

Office of Fair Trading executive director Brian Bauer said young people were more likely to be targeted by scammers and identity thieves than they might think.

“It's a common belief that older people with higher salaries are a bigger target for con artists but, given the large amounts of time young people spend online, they need to be careful with the personal information they give out,” he said.

“Particularly when signing up to social networking websites, it's a good idea to carefully consider the information you provide and who you allow to view that information.

Mr Bauer said the Office of Fair Trading received 3745 complaints relating to scams in 2010, up from 2173 in 2009.

Some simple steps can protect personal information online to ensure it does not fall into the wrong hands:

Think about the information you provide online and limit who can access social networking sites.

Never send banking or personal details via email or text.

Don't respond to emails or texts asking for your personal or bank information.

Never provide credit card or personal details on unsecured websites.

Check bank accounts each month or check them online and look into any abnormal account activities.

For information on how to protect your identity, www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au or www.scamwatch.gov.au or call 13 QGOV (13 74 68).



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