Jump to content
ritchie58

10 Ways To Stay Safe Online

Recommended Posts

1. Don't talk to cyber-strangers, and don't click on hyperlinks within emails from strangers. "That's the easiest way to download malware to your computer," says McNelley. Even if an email looks like it's from a company you know, such as your bank, go directly to the bank's website and log in there instead of clicking on the embedded link, and never open attachments from strangers (or even suspicious-looking ones from friends, who may have been hacked themselves). Sometimes hackers will set up fake sites that look like real sites to capture victims' information, a method referred to as phishing.

 

"A financial institution will never contact you via email asking you to verify your funds, request your username or password, or any other sensitive information," says Stephen Sims, senior instructor at the SANS Institute, which educates security professionals.

 

2. Treat your smartphone like the computer it is. Downloaded apps can contain malicious codes, warns McNelley. "You have no idea who created that app, and very little code-checking goes on," she says. If you're going to download apps, she suggests avoiding or minimizing the financial transactions you make with the smartphone. "Mobile phones are really tiny computers, but most consumers don't treat them as such or get anti-virus software for their smartphone," she adds.

 

Meanwhile, be sure antivirus software on laptops and desktops is up to date. "Many compromises are a result of keystroke-logging software that is illicitly installed on a user's system, capturing usernames and passwords," says Sims.

 

3. Treat social networks like dark street corners. You never know who's lurking among your friends and acquaintances. Hackers have targeted Gmail, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and users of those sites should be especially wary of clicking on embedded links, even those "recommended" by friends. Hackers also send emails that appear to be from social networking sites but are, in fact, fake emails designed to capture personal information. Again, users should avoid clicking on links embedded in emails.

 

4. Use the Net to your own advantage. If you bank online, you don't have to wait until the end of the month to check your statement. You can log in anytime and make sure nothing is amiss. An errant charge is often one of the first signs of identity theft, so check statements carefully and alert your bank immediately of any problems.

 

5. Get free help. Many credit card issuers offer free and automatic identify-theft protection to customers. (That's one advantage credit cards have over debit cards.) If you see erroneous charges on your statement, call your credit card company, which should investigate on your behalf. The law requires credit card companies to dispute erroneous charges. For most people, paying a monthly fee for extra monitoring services is unnecessary. (Once a year, consumers can get their credit report free of charge through annualcreditreport.com.)

 

6. Think of a new word. Consumers are tasked with remembering dozens of passwords for various retailers, banks, and accounts, making it almost impossible to remember them all, especially since they often include mixes of numbers and letters. Keep careful track of your passwords in a secure document, rely on mnemonic devices to boost your memory, or come up with some other clever strategy--but don't stick with simple passwords that are easy for strangers to guess. Also, change your passwords on a regular basis.

 

7. Never, ever give your Social Security number to anyone online. If a site asks for it during the checkout process, it's probably a scam site.

 

8. Shred or safely store financial mail. Bank statements, investment documents, and other financial paperwork can give thieves clues about account numbers, Social Security numbers, and other personal information. Destroying documents with a cross-cut shredder works, but you can make it easier on yourself (and the environment) by limiting your paper trail wherever possible. Shifting to online banking and document storage can reduce your chances of falling victim to a dumpster diver.

 

9. Fight back quickly. If you are hacked, step one is calling your bank, says McNelley. That's because banks have sophisticated systems in place that can immediately begin closely monitoring your account for signs of identity theft. They can also and shut down and replace any accounts if necessary. In fact, banks are often the first to notice something amiss, even before the victim.

 

As long as consumers report fraud in a timely manner, the law limits their liability to between $50 and $500, says Sims.

 

10. Trust your gut. "You often hear, after consumers used an ATM with a skimming device, they had a bad feeling about it. If you do have that feeling, listen to it," says McNelley, and remove yourself from the situation.

 

Taking these simple steps is like remembering to lock your door at night, or turn on your alarm system. Says McNelley, "Bad guys go for the house that's unprotected. If you take the basic measures, then generally you have less risk about getting compromised." Edit: Article by Kimberly Palmer There, are you happy now Dallas7?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Don't talk to cyber-strangers, and don't click on hyperlinks within emails from strangers. "That's the easiest way to download malware to your computer," says McNelley. Even if an email looks like it's from a company you know, such as your bank, go directly to the bank's website and log in there instead of clicking on the embedded link, and never open attachments from strangers (or even suspicious-looking ones from friends, who may have been hacked themselves). Sometimes hackers will set up fake sites that look like real sites to capture victims' information, a method referred to as phishing.

 

"A financial institution will never contact you via email asking you to verify your funds, request your username or password, or any other sensitive information," says Stephen Sims, senior instructor at the SANS Institute, which educates security professionals.

 

2. Treat your smartphone like the computer it is. Downloaded apps can contain malicious codes, warns McNelley. "You have no idea who created that app, and very little code-checking goes on," she says. If you're going to download apps, she suggests avoiding or minimizing the financial transactions you make with the smartphone. "Mobile phones are really tiny computers, but most consumers don't treat them as such or get anti-virus software for their smartphone," she adds.

 

Meanwhile, be sure antivirus software on laptops and desktops is up to date. "Many compromises are a result of keystroke-logging software that is illicitly installed on a user's system, capturing usernames and passwords," says Sims.

 

3. Treat social networks like dark street corners. You never know who's lurking among your friends and acquaintances. Hackers have targeted Gmail, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and users of those sites should be especially wary of clicking on embedded links, even those "recommended" by friends. Hackers also send emails that appear to be from social networking sites but are, in fact, fake emails designed to capture personal information. Again, users should avoid clicking on links embedded in emails.

 

4. Use the Net to your own advantage. If you bank online, you don't have to wait until the end of the month to check your statement. You can log in anytime and make sure nothing is amiss. An errant charge is often one of the first signs of identity theft, so check statements carefully and alert your bank immediately of any problems.

 

5. Get free help. Many credit card issuers offer free and automatic identify-theft protection to customers. (That's one advantage credit cards have over debit cards.) If you see erroneous charges on your statement, call your credit card company, which should investigate on your behalf. The law requires credit card companies to dispute erroneous charges. For most people, paying a monthly fee for extra monitoring services is unnecessary. (Once a year, consumers can get their credit report free of charge through annualcreditreport.com.)

 

6. Think of a new word. Consumers are tasked with remembering dozens of passwords for various retailers, banks, and accounts, making it almost impossible to remember them all, especially since they often include mixes of numbers and letters. Keep careful track of your passwords in a secure document, rely on mnemonic devices to boost your memory, or come up with some other clever strategy--but don't stick with simple passwords that are easy for strangers to guess. Also, change your passwords on a regular basis.

 

7. Never, ever give your Social Security number to anyone online. If a site asks for it during the checkout process, it's probably a scam site.

 

8. Shred or safely store financial mail. Bank statements, investment documents, and other financial paperwork can give thieves clues about account numbers, Social Security numbers, and other personal information. Destroying documents with a cross-cut shredder works, but you can make it easier on yourself (and the environment) by limiting your paper trail wherever possible. Shifting to online banking and document storage can reduce your chances of falling victim to a dumpster diver.

 

9. Fight back quickly. If you are hacked, step one is calling your bank, says McNelley. That's because banks have sophisticated systems in place that can immediately begin closely monitoring your account for signs of identity theft. They can also and shut down and replace any accounts if necessary. In fact, banks are often the first to notice something amiss, even before the victim.

 

As long as consumers report fraud in a timely manner, the law limits their liability to between $50 and $500, says Sims.

 

10. Trust your gut. "You often hear, after consumers used an ATM with a skimming device, they had a bad feeling about it. If you do have that feeling, listen to it," says McNelley, and remove yourself from the situation.

 

Taking these simple steps is like remembering to lock your door at night, or turn on your alarm system. Says McNelley, "Bad guys go for the house that's unprotected. If you take the basic measures, then generally you have less risk about getting compromised."

 

This is text swiped from a June 13 article written by Kimberly Palmer and published by U.S. News and World Report. That you post it up here without accreditation is illicit even if you, as is no doubt, did it in ignorance. You should do some of more research before you just copy/paste stuff willy nilly no matter how helpful you think your actions are. Especially when you make it look like you're the one who did the work even down to the fonts and formatting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

To publish an article on a forum post, I prefer to only enter a link to the website (The originator of the article appears often on the article itself). An advantage of presenting only the link to the website is that it saves space in this forum. A disadvantage is that it happens sometimes, that the link will become invalid in the future without any redirection!

Cheers,

sweidre

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...