Why is online security important?

It is each internet user's responsibility to ensure that their personal information is secure. Understanding online security and following a few simple guidelines can help safeguard not only your sensitive information, but that of friends, family and colleagues.

Selecting a secure password

Selecting a strong password is often the first step towards protecting yourself online. By following a few of the simple guidelines listed below, you can significantly improve the strength of your password.

Tips for a strong password

  • Select a password which is at least eight characters in length
  • Use a combination of lower case letters, upper case letters and numerals
  • Combine two words to form a new word
  • Substitute a number for a letter (e.g. B = 8, E = 3 I, L = 1, S = 5)
  • Select a number of characters which may be significant to you, but will also be unique.
  • Change your password every three to six months

Poor password practices

  • Passwords should not contain personal information such as your username, name, date of birth, address or maiden name
  • No dictionary words, proper nouns or foreign words
  • Try to avoid using the same password for multiple accounts
  • Avoid repeating letters, numbers or sequences in your password (e.g. Abcd1234)
  • Do not store your password in obvious places, it is always safer to try to remember it

Ways to remember your password

  • Select a password which may appear random but has personal significance for you, e.g. use the first letters of the title of your favourite song, book or quote.
  • Use words which you have made up, e.g. a slang word or nickname
  • Create a strong master password. You could then use this password for multiple accounts by making small changes (e.g. if the password is for SpinTel, you could add 'Sp' after the end of your password).

How to keep your password secure?

One of the most common ways that scammers can gain access to your personal information is through phishing emails.

Phishing is a term used to describe the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from legitimate companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details via the internet.

For example: A fraudulent email claiming to be sent from SpinTel encourages you to reply with your personal account information including your username, password and date of birth. This email also threatens to close your SpinTel webmail account unless this information is supplied within 48 hours.

How is SpinTel helping to reduce phishing emails?

As part of our ongoing objective to ensure your online safety, we are making every effort to identify, report and block the source of these phishing emails. This page also includes regular examples of the latest phishing email alerts which target SpinTel. We are confident that by keeping you fully informed of these types of activities and through regular communication with our customers, we will minimise any inconvenience they may cause.

How do I identify phishing email scams?

1. Check the 'From' email address line
Phishing emails may contain a fake email address in the 'From' email sender line. If you have not seen this email address from SpinTel before, the 'reply to' address is not a standard address, or the email address has been slightly altered (e.g. then the email you have received could be fraudulent.

2. Check the SpinTel customer greeting
The distributors of phishing emails will generally not have access to your name, therefore many of these emails will contain greetings such as 'Dear Account User' or 'Dear SpinTel email User'.

3. Look for response deadlines
Many of these phishing emails will set a deadline for the update of your personal account information. These emails also claim that unless your account information is updated before a specified deadline, your SpinTel email account will be closed.

4. Email links or forms
Phishing emails generally contain a link which will redirect you to a false website or space in the email to enter in your personal information. Please be aware that these external links can be faked and when in doubt, it is always safer to type directly into your internet browser.

5. Look at the sign-off name and position
Phishing emails will generally be signed off with a generic sign-off such as 'SpinTel Support Team' or ' Team'.

6. A request to reveal personal information
Please be aware that SpinTel will never request that you disclose your personal details via email due to the security implications. Any email which requests your SpinTel username, password, date of birth, state or credit card information is clearly a phishing email and should be treated with extreme caution.

How else can I improve my security online?

Delete any emails you suspect are Spam.
If you receive an email you suspect is Spam, we recommend that you delete the email immediately.
Please do not reply to these emails or click on any links they may contain, as this will just confirm to the Spammer that your email address is currently active and may result in your email receiving more Spam.
Download and install regular updates and patches for your operating system
Check Windows Update regularly and follow the directions to install the latest security patches and critical updates onto your system. To enter Microsoft Windows Update, you will find the 'Windows Update' option in Control Panel.

Install and update third party Anti-Virus protection
A computer virus is a program which can infect a computer and copy itself to spread among other connected computers. Once infected, your computer may no longer be secure and could be used for a number of fraudulent activities including online identity theft, modification of your personal files, stealing your personal information, distributing Spam email or spreading the virus to other computer systems.
Anti-Virus software is used to identify, quarantine and remove any viruses which may be present on your computer, as well as helping to safeguard your system against subsequent infections.
There are a number of free anti-virus alternatives which may give you a basic level of cover, however for more comprehensive cover you may wish to consider purchasing and subscribing to a fully-fledged Internet security software package.
Below are some free anti-virus programs:


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