Identity Theft Prevention
There are important ways you can protect yourself from identity thieves online such as using strong passwords and installing an electronic firewall to keep internet hackers from accessing your computer. Use the tips below to better protect yourself online:
Using strong passwords and installing anti-virus and anti-spyware software on your computer to check for malicious programs you may have inadvertently downloaded can help minimize your risk. Be sure to update the software regularly and be suspicious of “free” downloads. You can check with your Internet service provider about any free virus, spyware, malware prevention, and firewall software they provide.
For tips on creating strong passwords, visit www.passwordbird.com
To familiarize yourself with online security practices, visit www.getnetwise.org
Using a secure connection, also known as an encrypted connection, when doing commerce online may help reduce your risk of identity theft. A secure connection will have an "s" after the "http" Web address and an icon of a "closed lock". Beware of the use of public computers for private information transmission. Applying or checking credit using someone else's computer leaves a history of your information.
Phishing- also known as carding or brand-spoofing- is a type of deception designed to steal your identity. In a phishing scam, an identity thief tries to get information such as credit card numbers, passwords, account information, or other personal information from you by convincing you to provide it under false pretenses.
Phishing schemes usually come via spam emails or pop-up windows, and often pose as legitimate businesses with which consumers may do business.
In a phishing scam, the messages often look very authentic, featuring corporate logos and formats similar to the ones used for legitimate messages. Typically, they ask for verification of certain information, such as account numbers and passwords, allegedly for auditing purposes. Responding to phishing emails can result in financial losses, identity theft and other fraudulent activity.
To learn how to spot the bait and avoid phishing scams, click here.