Learn how you can raise your internet security levels by applying a few simple rules to your online financial activity. Understand where the dangers lie and how to spot a dodgy email.
There are plenty of internet security features in place on reputable websites, and especially online banking sites where compromised personal information can lead to serious fraud. Nevertheless, credit card fraud is big business these days because many people do not take the necessary precautions or do not recognise when there is, or has been, an attempt to steal their personal and security details, such as logins and passwords.
Internet Security tips
Here are 12 ways in which in you can better protect yourself with improved internet security and increased awareness of the dangers of credit card fraud:
- Make sure you keep your computer secure. Restrict access to those people who can trust 100%. Even then, do not reveal passwords to anyone who has no reason to know them.
- Never send out your credit card details via email. Email accounts can be hacked, and this would be an easy attack for anyone with the requisite knowledge to by-pass email internet security. Banks NEVER ask you to send your security details via email. If you receive an email purporting to be from your bank asking for such details, it is a scam.
- Similarly, do not log into any supposed bank website via a link in an email. This is a classic "phishing" scam, where you are asked to reset your bank's security features because they have been compromised. No, your internet security has not been compromised, but it will be if you follow their instructions. The links on these bogus emails will land you on a page that is identical to your bank's, but do not be fooled. Also, do not open any email that you do not recognise, especially if it contains an attachment. This could be a virus that could install keylogging software deep into your computer that tracks your keystrokes when you are performing private financial transactions.
- Always log out of your online account when you have finished to maintain internet security, rather than just closing the browser. This is especially the case at work, libraries and internet cafes, although you should not really be performing financial transactions from anywhere but a secured location - which public internet locations are not.
- Make every effort to only deal only with established and reputable merchants.
- Only make payments on secure websites. You can verify this by looking for the padlock symbol in the bottom-right of your browser, and checking that the web address has changed to "https" from "http".
- If you are unfamiliar with a website and have any doubts, do a little Googling to check there are no bad stories about them on any forums. Or go elsewhere; the internet offers plenty of choice.
- Keep a close eye on your accounts and report any discrepancies immediately.
- Do not use the "remember my password option" on banking and shopping sites. This allows anyone with access to your computer to get straight through to your bank account. Remember: passwords are there for a reason.
- Maintain your internet security by changing your password on a regular basis.
- Immediately cancel any card you believe has been used fraudulently, or if you're a member of an identity protection service like Secure Sentinel give them a call to close any affected accounts for you.