Let us agree that we have all heard about internet fraud millions of times now. It is a form of cyber crime (a crime that has some kind of computer or cyber aspect to it) that aims to steal the identities and financial information of unsuspecting surfers. Criminals use different methods in order to get access to people’s details. They use unsolicited email messages, as well as websites, chat rooms, message boards and social networks. Below you can find some awesome tips for avoiding internet fraud.
Never give away your PIN code
First and one of the most important tips is to not to give away your PIN code. Note that your bank will never ask you for your PIN code over the phone, via email or on the website. If this happened to you it means the person you are communicating with may not be a representative of your bank. Do not give your PIN to anybody under any circumstances. One more thing is to try to have different PIN codes for different accounts. This way you will be more secure from internet fraud.
Always check your bank statements
Online banking is making the life of fraudsters so easy. They can just go after bank details thanks to online banking. But it is also not difficult for users to check bank statements now that every detail is available at the touch of a button. The good news is that some banks will alert you if they detect suspicious activity. Eventually, only you will really know where you have been spending your money. It is crucial to check your balance on a regular basis in order to avoid internet fraud.
Keep your operating system up-to-date
Even though Norton is fixing issues with your computer as soon as criminals are able to exploit them but it is essential that you keep all software up-to-date. This way only you will be able to avoid becoming a victim of online fraud. This does not just apply to your Internet protection software though. Most software manufacturers, including your OS provider, regularly release security patches. This way they make it more difficult for fraudsters to get hold of your details.
Never keep financial information on your laptop
Normally laptops are much more likely to be stolen than desktops. This means you should: try not to store any financial information on your laptop unless absolutely necessary. And also it is crucial to ensure that your computer is password protected in case it is misplaced. Try to make your password as difficult as possible. And try to change it as often as possible.
Always use a strong password
It is not a secret that choosing a strong password for all services you use will make it harder for thieves to gain access to your details. As already mentioned above it is preferable to have a different password for each service. When selecting a password use at least eight characters, with a mixture of upper and lower case and both letters and numbers. Try to avoid using names or interests as passwords. This is an easy information to get hold of from your social media profiles, as well as being easy to guess.
Be careful when opening attachments
Attachments can sometimes be very dangerous and insecure. So just think twice before opening email attachments. This is especially about those that come from senders that you do not even know. Some of the most destructive viruses are spread via attachments. It is important to make sure you know the sender and that you have an idea of what should be in the file. This is only when you are going to open that attachment.
Disable file sharing on your computer
On most computers running certain versions of Windows File sharing is enabled by default. This means that anyone in your workgroup is able to see your files. By choosing to disable file sharing does not mean that you cannot allow access to people. This can only mean that you simply make it possible to be able to choose who you show your files to. Especially if your computer is running on Microsoft’s older operating systems it is at a risk. So you just need to open My Computer, on the Tools menu click folder options then click the view tab, go to advanced settings and uncheck use simple file sharing (Recommended). That is it.
Use encrypted sites where possible
In case social networks and websites ask you whether you would like to turn on encryption you should select yes if this is an option. Remember that if the site is preceded by ‘https’ this is an indication that it has been independently verified and they are who they say they are. Also if you want to be sure that any login or payment processes on the site are secure look for a padlock symbol displayed in the address bar.
Never send or receive money on others’ behalf
In case you have received an unsolicited email from a sender asking to transfer money into your account, this money is likely to be stolen from other bank accounts. If you comply you are not only aiding criminals, which is an offense, but you are also giving these people access to your bank account. So try not make transfers overseas using Internet banking services in any case. This way you will be secure from internet fraud.
Destroy financial data when throwing it away
There is another option for the thieves to gain access to your online accounts. They can manage this without going through your computer. We all know that we can regularly throw away confidential financial information, including paper copies of online banking logins and so on. You have to destroy any personal information before throwing it away by shredding bank statements and expired cards.
In most of the internet fraud cases, we ourselves are the ones guilty. If we follow the above-mentioned tips, it will be really difficult for a fraudster to get close to our private information and accounts. So stay positive but alert. We wish you good luck.