February 11 is Safer Internet Day, but adopting a few simple practices can make every day Safer Internet Day.
There is a lot of information here on MysteryShoppersManual.com about avoiding mystery shopper scams. Here is a quick summary:
- Do not respond to random emails from companies to which you have not applied.
- Avoid the “too good to be true” offers of hundreds of dollars for a few minutes of work.
- Do not believe that random emailers are who they say they are, especially if they are using a free email address (e.g., Gmail, Yahoo, etc.).
- NEVER wire money to someone you do not know for any reason, even if you believe it may be a mystery shop.
- Trust that little voice that warns you something is wrong. It knows, even if you don’t.
The government offers several tips about staying safe online through the site OnGuardOnline.gov. You can learn how to avoid scams, keep your kids safe online [PDF] and more.
They also produced the above video about safely using public WiFi. As mystery shoppers, we may find ourselves at the mercy of public WiFi to log in to check job boards, complete reports or read email while we are out and about. If you do not properly protect your connection, you put your data at risk and you can become the victim of identity theft, financial fraud and other scams.
The way I choose to protect myself when using Internet away from home is with a Virtual Private Network (VPN). This can be a complicated techie thing to deal with, but there are consumer solutions available that are easy to use.
Take a little time to educate yourself about online dangers, then make sure your protect yourself and your family.