Rarely a day goes by when most of us are not online. Whether it’s surfing the web, checking Instagram or sharing messages on WhatsApp, we’re all doing something in the digital world for much of the day.
And although everyone uses the internet for different things, we we should all learn how to stay savvy when roaming around in cyberspace.
This extends beyond safety and security – you can also be savvy with regard to money.
Here are some top tips to help you along the way…
Be Money Savvy
With the decline of the traditional high-street stores, we as consumers now purchase the majority of our items exclusively online as every industry is catered for, from clothing and tech to groceries. With all of these retailers vying for your custom, the marketplaces can be rather competitively priced, but to aid in the shopping experience we’ve seen the rise of smart software to help consumers find bargains and special deals.
These tools are numerous and cover just about every aspect of online retail, with web-browser extensions such as Honey and Pouch. These extensions merge with your web browser to scan all over the wide web for discount codes when you’re at checkout to find you the best deal possible and save money. Another useful tool are cash-back websites such as Topcashback.co.uk and Quidco. These sites partner with major retailers and if you make your purchase via their referral platform, you can in turn receive cash back from the sale into an online wallet that you control. Both platforms have a different approach to saving their customers money, but in modern times they are a must have!
Be Gaming Savvy
With the huge expansion of online gaming over the past decade thanks to the prevalence of high-speed mobile internet, more players are taking up different forms of gaming than ever. Some people opt for fantasy role playing games, others for futuristic adventure titles, but there is also a growing market of players experiencing online casinos all from the palm of their hand. Online casino gambling is a multi-million-dollar industry, which has witnessed exponential growth in the last decade. While many think gambling always involves wagering your own cash, that's not quite true. Several casinos offer no deposit bonuses to new customers simply for creating an account - you can click here for a list of licensed and regulated sites as these offers provide a taste of real-money gambling with zero risk to the player’s wallet.
Another way to be money savvy online is to check out coupon code websites or companies, such as Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates), for shopping discounts.
Yet, it doesn’t stop there. Perhaps one of the most underutilized money-saving methods is comparison websites. Gone are the days where we must buy our car insurance from the nearest broker in town. It’s all online now, and the competition is fierce, which is excellent news for us - the consumers.
Furthermore, if you’re looking for a new bank account, savings account, or credit card, be savvy and compare different brands online. Within a few clicks, you’ll find the financial institutions that are offering the best rates and benefits.
Ultimately, whatever you spend your money on, it’s worth taking a few minutes to browse the web to find out how and where you can save a few quid. This isn’t about being frugal; it’s simply being savvy with your hard-earned money - and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Be Security Savvy
Everything is on the internet - the good, the bad, and the ugly, which is why being security savvy is absolutely essential. The good news is that by following a few firm guidelines, it’s relatively easy to stay safe.
Keep your software updated: whether using a PC or mobile device, we’ve all experienced a message saying ‘software update now available’ or something along those lines. It’s tempting to delay this because it’s a slight inconvenience in regards to time and your device being restarted. However, perhaps a bug was found in the previous piece of software, and this update fixes that issue. Therefore, it’s good practice to always update your device when prompted to do so.
Use strong passwords: most online accounts that require a password won’t let people set a password like 12345 anymore. This is because it’s too easy for a hacker to crack simple passwords. Take that as a tip and make sure that you set a strong password straight off the bat. Try to use a mixture of lower and uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
Spot the scams: Many internet users have received an email from a supposed Nigerian millionaire that needs help to get his vast fortune out of the country. While this scam has died off, there are many others, such as fraudulent emails claiming to be your bank telling you to reset your password. Many of these looks convincing but don’t click any links until you’ve verified the source.
Secure internet: If you have Wi-Fi at home, make certain that it is password protected. Alternatively, if you use a public Wi-Fi network, be wary about what information you share. These networks are ideal for browsing the web, but we wouldn’t recommend doing your online shopping and entering your banking information because you never know who is watching.
Safety is paramount
In today's ever-changing digital landscape, it can often feel overwhelming to keep up with the latest trends around tech and software as we continue to spend more of our time and money online. It is crucial then that we put safety at the forefront of our online activities as more and more of our personal data is accessible than ever through social media channels and digital transactions, so it must be said that staying savvy in your web-based world.