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Fraud Tips



  • ‘Security’ and ‘privacy’ aren’t the same thing on the internet.  The site you’re using may be completely secure but offer zero privacy.  For instance, Google is considered one of the more secure sites, but did you know that it tracks you as you surf across the web?  That’s why an ad from a site you visited one time continues to pop up for days.  Security, YES.  Privacy, NO.
  • Public computers and Wi-Fi may not offer security or privacy.  They’re called ‘public’ for a reason.  They’re great for general browsing but not for anything you wouldn’t want made public, like  financial transactions such as bill paying or purchases.
  • Just as you need a periodic checkup, so does your computer.  Make sure your anti-virus is up to date.  When your operating system alerts you that patches need to be deployed, apply them.  These strengthen your computer’s defenses.
  • Passwords are easy for the bad guys to figure out.  In fact, they’ve even created computer programs to help them crack them so most can be compromised in a matter of minutes.  Passphrases, however, present a significant deterrent!  A phrase such as I l0ve C@ts! (yes, spaces are a character) can take days to figure out, even with a computer program, and the bad guys just don’t have that kind of time.
  • You know your friends.  If you receive an attachment or a link from one of them and it seems out of character, don’t click.  The attachment or the link may contain malware.  Instead, contact your friend and double check they really sent it or navigate to the website indicated by the link on your own. If you receive an attachment or link from someone you don’t know, it’s probably best to not click anything at all.
  • When you’re traveling out of the immediate area, let your bank know.  That way when you make a purchase on vacation in Timbuktu, your bank knows it’s you.  Otherwise, they may need to contact you to verify the transaction before allowing it.
  • You can monitor your debit card as well.  You can set up alerts that will let you know what is going on with your card.  For example, receive a text or e-mail to alert you  if  your card was used online or over a certain amount.
  • One of the best deterrents to fraudulent transactions is monitoring your account.  Call your bank immediately if transactions appear that weren’t authorized by you.  Even if you’re not sure.  The bank would much rather confirm a legitimate transaction than try to recover lost funds from a fraudulent one.


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