It can be difficult to make New Year’s resolutions, and this is why you should think about what is important to you. If you are fortunate enough that you are happy with your life, you should focus on retaining the standard of life that you have. This means that you should look to keep yourself and your loved ones safe, which means avoiding being a victim of fraud. If you are keen to stay safe in 2016, here are some handy tips for you to bear in mind.

If a Website Looks Suspicious, avoid it

Okay, the prices look too good to be true but surely that should act as a warning sign to you? The old adage about if something seems too good to be true was practically made for the internet era, so make sure that you proceed with caution when you find a great bargain or a website that doesn’t look quite right.

Websites will look different and what one person thinks is a good looking site may seem terrible to others but you need to think about whether a website looks professional. Visit websites that you know are professional brand name sites and have a look out at their design, layout and style.

Would you feel as confident shopping on another site as you do shopping on this form of site? There is a lot to be said for making sure that you choose the safest option when it comes to shopping online and the look and feel of a website is a big factor in how you should shop.

If you Receive a Hyperlink in an Email – Approach with Caution

One of the most common online scams, even in the present day, is the hyperlink in an email that causes damage to you or finds personal information. This attack may come through the hyperlink or it may be in the form of an attachment but you should always proceed with caution when it comes to opening anything from an email you are not sure about.

If you click on a link or open an attachment and then find that you are being asked for personal information, stop and proceed no further. You may already have provided too much information but the less you give, the more chance you have of staying safe. This means that you need to be cautious at all times when you open your emails because email fraud remains a popular form of attack.

Shopping by Phone isn’t Any Safer

It isn’t as if too many people still shop by phone these days, but it is an option. There is also the fact that many people are so concerned with the danger and risks associated with online shopping that shopping by phone may seem like a safer way to spend their money.

The problem with this comes with the fact that there are still risks and dangers associated with shopping over the phone, particularly with your smartphone. There are easy ways to use your phone to buy purchases with one clock and with most smartphones having less anti-virus protection than laptops; buyers could actually be placing themselves at risk when shopping by phone or on their phone.

Use Your Credit Card

This is a difficult and possibly slightly controversial piece of advice. This is down to the fact that most people will tell you that you shouldn’t use your credit card because it can place your finances under a greater level of pressure. This is true but you will also find that you will experience a greater level of protection when you make a purchase with a credit card. If you feel that there is a slight risk with a purchase but you are determined to push on with your purchase anyway, buying items with a credit card is the best way to give yourself an added chance of staying safe.

If you are the victim of fraud, knowing where to turn to is important. There are plenty of fraud specialists who will be able to provide guidance and advice, and while being proactive is best when it comes to fraud; it is never too late to seek assistance and help. When it comes to making the most out of 2016, being aware of fraud and playing your part to minimise it will be of considerable benefit.

Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.