So there I was, walking along minding my own business on the way to work in early 2018 when I decided to check my bank balance on my banking app to see just how much I had left before I reached my overdraft who at this point, I’d reluctantly gotten to know too well.
Rather than the -£10 I was expecting soon after pay-day, I was met with a nice round -£700. Obviously, £700 isn’t a great deal to a lot of people but for many of us, including a first-time renter like myself with a car and plenty of other bills to pay for, I hoped this was a very un-funny mistake on my banks part.
A quick check later found this wasn’t the case with flights from Amsterdam to a place far from the UK where I’m from. As much as I’d have liked to have a taken a long-haul flight and had a month-long break, I hadn’t booked a flight for months, used the airline on the bank statement or planned a holiday so I knew then that my bank details had been fraudulently stolen.
It’s a different feeling than say being pickpocketed, not solely being down to the difference in amount, but you feel utterly helpless, it’s an invisible enemy that you realise is completely in the hands of an invisible bank. Again, although it wasn’t a huge sum of money, I hope no one has to experience the frantic panic I felt thinking I was going to lose a chunk of my wages and struggle for the month.
Call it naivety, but I thought whatever I did online, especially on my iPhone, that I was safe from fraudsters but the numbers don’t look good as according to the ONS and The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) in the year ending 2019 there were an estimated 3.8 million instances of Fraud in the UK.
Not being a multimillionaire with access to a supercomputer or the latest in online security protocols, I decided to see what I could do to protect myself.
And so, I began my journey down the encrypted rabbit hole and to discovering VPN’s, taking a deep-dive into online security and learning as much as I could in the process.
When trying to learn a lot in such a small space of time, it can be overwhelming. You’re met with hundreds of websites claiming they offer the best services, the cheapest deals and the most robust security. Eventually, I became hooked with learning as much as I could and developing a real interest in online security.
However, I realised that too many times have I tried to find an in-depth review or the latest tips and thought I was watching a horror movie with the number of things popping up at the screen. Many of these sites are huge with the not-so obvious focus on getting you to buy a product they are promoting.
That’s why I decided to launch this website – to help people and provide no-nonsense advice on online security with what I have learned on the way.