how to avoid being scammed online

A very large portion of the population today has access to the internet and email within their own homes. Any of us who aren’t so technologically advanced at home, yet who work in an office type environment are likely to be pretty internet savvy at work. 

This means that an awful lot of us are susceptible to being sucked into those phishing scams.
However you can avoid falling into this trap by playing it smart.

More Key Tips…

  • Use anti-virus software and a firewall to prevent phishing emails from tracking your internet activities
  • Never email personal or financial information – email is not a secure method of transmission
  • Immediately delete any emails that appear to be fraudulent
  • Be cautious about opening any attachments or downloading files from email regardless of who is sending them
  • Do not reply to or open any links that are provided in phishing emails
  • If you are concerned about an account that is referred to in an email, you are best to physically telephone the company whom the email is claiming to be from and ask them personally if there is a problem
  • Look for bad grammar and misspelled words in phishing emails
  • Legitimate businesses and financial institutions are not likely to ask for personal information via email
  • Emails that do not address you by your full name but instead sometimes just by your email address are a tip off
  • When you must provide financial or other sensitive information online be sure that the site you are using is secure. Look for a lock icon on the status bar or a website that begins with https: (the “s” stands for secure).
Additional Preventative Measures
I think you’re probably getting the point now. There are many things that you can do when it comes to protecting yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft. It may not be possible to follow every single piece of advice that this book provides and that’s okay. 

The key here is awareness. Here is why awareness is so critically important. 

Have you ever been really afraid to do something completely new, or been extremely intimidated by something that you knew very little about? 

Well I certainly have and I’m sure that quite literally everyone else in this world has been as well at one point or another. In fact, it’s simply human nature to fear the unknown and I believe that the same can be said for something like identity theft. Before you knew what it was all about the entire idea of it was scary, but now you’re becoming more familiar with it and you are gaining the tools and knowledge that will allow you to effectively deal with it. Let’s provide you with even more knowledge now and suggest a few more ways to prevent identity theft from occurring.

  • Contact the Better Business Bureau in your area if you receive suspicious phone calls or emails in regards to a particular organization or business
  • Ensure that all of your accounts require passwords in order for changes or inquiries to be made to them
  • When choosing, make sure you pick difficult passwords (do not use family or pet names etc), do not use the same passwords for each account and memorize them rather than writing them down
  • Carry only the cards that you actually need, this includes your Social Security card
  • When you are asked for personal information ask why it is needed, who will have access to it, how it is to be used and how they will protect that information from others
  • Access your credit report on an annual basis to make sure that it is accurate and that there has not been an accumulation of unauthorized debt
  • Inquire as to the policy of those businesses that you do business with when it comes to the discarding of personal/financial information 
  • Contact the three major credit reporting agencies to place a security alert on your file – this will ensure that you are contacted prior to the opening of any new credit cards under your name

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