Basic rules to prevent cybercrime

As newcomers to the digital world, many of us are lacking in training and information, making us vulnerable to those who wish to take advantage of this.

Cybercriminals often do not need to develop complex strategies to reach their goals and simply take advantage of our lack of knowledge and, sometimes, our failure to pay sufficient attention.

Phishing, Smishing, Vishing... these terms might not sound familiar to you, but you should be aware that they are techniques used to access our data, impersonate us and infect our devices. It is not that difficult to avoid them:

  • Create complex passwords (combinations of numbers and letters, uppercase and lowercase characters), change them regularly, install antivirus software and update your devices.

  • Do not respond to requests for personal or confidential information via e-mail and do not download or execute any attached files.

  • Be wary of online offers of banking services by banks claiming to be authorised but whose addresses are incomplete or missing, or where the contact provided is a mobile telephone number or the country code is not Spanish. They are usually fake websites.

  • Also, be wary of loan or investment offers with very favourable conditions by banks located in faraway countries from which you cannot obtain information. These are usually shell banks that will ask you to send money that you will never recover.

Pay close attention to fake e-mails pretending to be from your bank which ask you for confidential data and the secure keys required to perform transactions. Never do this; remember that these keys are personal and that you are under no obligation to provide them. If in doubt, speak to your bank to confirm the source of the e-mails.

Also, reject any e-mails that say they are writing on behalf of the Banco de España, trying to convince you that you have received a transfer or that lottery money has been deposited and that in order to collect such amount you must first make a payment. They are fake, since the Banco de España will never send to or request from the general public any confidential information via e-mail.

The Banco de España aims to track down these activities and recommends the general public to follow the advice and good practices detailed in the Internet User Security Office Abre en ventana nuevaof the Spanish National Institute of Communications Technology (INTECO, by its Spanish acronym).

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