Internet fraud happens all too often. Unscrupulous individuals try to get money out of others through the computer. They may send an email asking for help or set up a fake website to garner attention. There are a lot of different ways that scammers can affect you, but you don’t have to let it happen. With a few simple steps, you can protect your identity and make it less likely that you will be a victim of fraud.
The information that follows will guide you through the steps necessary to keep your personal information secure on the Internet and ensure you and your business is safe.
Never allow anyone to access your computer remotely, unless you know who they are. For example, it is okay to allow your Internet service provider to do this if you need technical assistance.
Set up long passwords that are difficult to guess. Use numbers, letters and special characters. If your password is short, it is easier to hack. Go for ten digits if at all possible. In addition, switch up your passwords on a regular basis and don’t let others know what your password is.
Antivirus software is essential. Make sure you keep it updated, too, so that the program ensures there is nothing malicious in a file or program that will hurt your computer. Because viruses change all the time, it is crucial that you update to the latest version of the software as it becomes available.
Always know what you are downloading. If you are making a purchase on your computer, check to see that the source is secure. Secure sites begin with “https.” If the site starts with “http,” you should not purchase from it.
Turn on your firewall. This is a barrier of sorts that keeps people from accessing your computer. Most operating systems have firewalls included, and they will tell you if there is an issue.
Update your operating system often. Do the same thing for your web browser. Each update includes important security features that you want to have, in order to keep up with the scammers as they change their tactics.
Never open or download anything that has a suspicious origin. For example, if you get an email, and you don’t know who it is from, delete it. Also, remember that no legitimate business will email you and try and get you to give them your password. Only type in those details when you are accessing the site itself. You need to protect your business online in the same way you would safeguard your business from counterfeit cash or any other form of fraud.
Check For Secure Links
There are several ways you can make sure that you are using a secure link. First, look for the padlock symbol to appear. It pops up when you are entering your user ID and password. The symbol should be in the window frame of the browser and not on the actual site.
Look to see that the address starts with “https.” That “s” at the end means that the link is secure. You may also see the address bar turn green if you are using the newest version of the browser.
Handling Scam Emails
If you get a scam email, and you open it, do not click “reply.” Do not download anything or follow any links. If you do, and you are redirected to a site that asks for your information, do not give it out. Close the window and consider changing any passwords that you have set up.