The Saturday, Dec. 8 edition of The Tennessean had an article about Internet Security and tips to help you keep form having your personal information and/or identity stolen.
A couple highlights include the following;
- Leading estimates state that Identity theft is a $55 billion-a-year industry (if you can call it that).
- Phishing — the most common method of stealing identities online — is a form of spam, involving unsolicited e-mail to dupe the recipient into divulging personal data (such as bank account numbers, username and passwords, and even Social Security numbers).
Good information through and through, but I specially liked the listed tips that every computer user should really heed.
Online Security Tips
- Don’t use logins that rely on words in the dictionary.
- Don’t use the same user name and password for more than one account.
- Don’t do online business on an unknown Web site. Research it first.
- Mix up user names an passwords with capital and lower-case letters as well as numbers and keyboard symbols. Make logins at least eight characters long.
- Never respond to an e-mail asking you to divulge username, password, bank account numbers, Social Security numbers, or other personal information.
- If you have a master list of all your passwords and user names, keep it in a locked place. If on your computer, keep the list protected or, better yet, encrypted.
- Set Internet-security options on your browser, such as Internet Explorer, on “high”.
- Use and routinely update spam blockers, spyware-detection software, pop-up blockers and anti-virus software. keep firewalls up to date.
- Consider investing in password-management software or a password protection device, which acts like a key to unlock a computer when plugged into a USB port.
- Routinely check your bank and credit card statements for unusual spending. Review your credit card rating annually.
- If you suspect fraud, report it immediately to your financial institution and contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center (ICCC) at www.ic3.gov
Bottom line; If you’re using a computer and surfing the Internet, be mind-full of the sites you visit and the information you divulge. Also, if you think an email might be fraudulent, don’t click on any links and don’t visit any listed/linked websites. If it is a legitimate email and really important, the business and or bank will contact you via another method.