Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How can you protect yourself from online fraud or identity theft?

In this "online age" of technology, everything is done online from communicating, shopping to medical diagnostics and other stuffs. With this increasing trend of users going online, it has become increasingly important for them to protect their personal data. So how to protect your personal details, passwords, credit card numbers? In this post I'll mention some few tricks that will help prevent your private information from being stolen.

protect from online fraud and identity theft
1. We are the one
We, the users, are the best anti fraud and anti scam system. If we are well aware about the details about the online service that we are going to use then we can easily spot anything that 'stinks' so we can stay away from such places. So, do some research!

protect from online fraud and identity theft
2. Secure your network
This is a must if you have wireless network in your home. Most people don't consider securing their network by using passwords or firewalls and leave it open. This is a huge mistake as anyone can monitor the packets to and from that network and access private information.

protect from online fraud and identity theft
3. Use trusted sites only
There are a lot of online shopping sites, job sites etc that promise to deliver the goods and services. But not all of them are ligitimate. So before entering or doing any financial transactions, do some research about that site in advance.

protect from online fraud and identity theft
4. Secured connection
If you are doing some sensitive information (password, credit card numbers) exchange with a website then make sure the channel is secured. Generally, secured channel is HTTPS which encrypts any data sent and received from you and the remote server. How to tell if it is secured? Just look at the address bar of the browser and it should display like "https://somesite.com/secured" instead of "http://somesite.com/unsecured".

protect from online fraud and identity theft
5. Update your anti-virus
Regularly update your anti-virus software and also other software that have an update available. Updates are improvements in a software. Some are critical and some are not so important but critical updates must be done as they fix several issues in the softwares that my lead to open a backdoor to your system and compromise it.

These are just a few tips to protect yourself from online fraud and identity theft. Do some research about the techniques used by scammers so you can defend against their techniques.

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