How important is your online security? After all, the internet makes many everyday tasks such as shopping and banking faster and more convenient — but more and more scammers are using the web to target their victims.
Scam artists defraud millions of people each year by using internet services or software to trick people into sending money or giving out their personal information. USA.gov has provided essential information to protect yourself from and report such fraud as:
- Data breaches — When sensitive data (personal or financial information) is leaked from a secure location to an untrusted environment at a corporate or personal level.
- Malware — This involves dangerous software that is designed to disable computers and computer systems.
- Phishing or spoofing — When a scammer uses fake email, text messages, or copycat websites to try to steal your identity or personal information, such as credit card numbers, bank account numbers, debit card PINs, and account passwords.
- Internet auction fraud — This involves the misrepresentation of a product advertised for sale on an internet auction site, or non-delivery of merchandise.
- Credit card fraud — When scammers fraudulently obtain money or property through the unauthorized use of a credit or debit card or card number.
How to Protect Yourself
Here are some tips to keep your computer and personal information safe when you’re online:
- Learn how to spot common scams and fraud. Find out the warning signs of internet fraud,phishing, and other online scams.
- Update your computer software. Download the latest versions of your operating system, web browsers, and apps.
- Talk to your family members about being safe and responsible online. Help protect your kids online by teaching them about the risks.
- Don’t share your passwords or sensitive information with anyone you don’t trust. Think about why someone needs it and if you can really trust the request. Laptop security is also important when using a portable computer in public to help prevent all your valuable information stored on it from falling into the hands of an identity thief.
- Don’t use the same passwords for multiple accounts. Try to make your passwords unpredictable and avoid using names, dates, or common words.
- Don’t give out personal information over unencrypted websites. When shopping or banking online, only use websites that use encryption to protect your information as it goes from your computer to their server.
Report Internet Fraud
If you believe you’ve been a victim of internet fraud or cyber crime, report it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) or by using the FBI’s online tips form. Your complaint will be forwarded to federal, state, local, or international law enforcement. You will need to contact your credit card company directly to notify them if you are disputing unauthorized charges from scammers on your card or if you suspect your credit card number has been compromised.
This information is provided to you courtesy of Kelmar and Associates Investigations (www.KelmarGlobal.com), a worldwide licensed private investigation company with offices in San Antonio and Dallas, Texas. Call us at (888) 873-1714 for a free consultation.