When using the Internet, it is important that you remain informed about steps you can take to safeguard your money and your identity. Don't be a victim!
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Create Strong Passwords
A strong password contains a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols, and has a minimum of 8 characters (longer is always better). Your passwords shouldn't be easy to guess, be a common dictionary word, or contain personal information. Never tell anyone your password and have different passwords for each of your online accounts.
Protect Your Computer
Anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewalls are good protection from malware that can steal your passwords, account numbers and even your identity.
Be Aware of Phishing scams
Everyone is a target! Beware of social engineers (or con artists) who are asking for personal information that could compromise your security or identity. Social engineers can attempt to lure you into a scam via email, phone or in person. Beware of phony URL links in emails. If something looks fishy, check with known senders before clicking on links. When in doubt, delete the email.
Be Careful Sharing on Social Media Sites
Think twice before posting personal information on the Internet. Remember, it's out in the open forever and what you post on public websites can give the bad guys information to form their scams.
Other Tips to Stay Secure
- Change your passwords frequently. If you hear of a security breach involving a site where you have an account, change them as soon as possible.
- Always secure your smart phone, tablet or other mobile devices with a password.
- Remember that reputable companies will never ask you for your password.
- When shopping online, look for https at the beginning of the URL. The 's' signifies a secure link.
- Never use a public computer to access important accounts or to shop online.
- Keep your computer's operating system, anti-virus software, web browser and other applications up to date. These can be set to update automatically.
- Remember that some of the 'free' stuff available online can contain viruses or spyware. Download with caution!
- Regularly check your computer for viruses and other malware by running anti-virus software to scan your files. Use a reputable software company and ensure updates are applied when they are available.
- Warn your elderly loved ones about phone scams. Oversee what your children are doing online to keep them out of danger. Check their privacy settings (and your own) on social media sites.