Slide
Slide
Slide
Slide
Slide
Slide
Slide
Slide
Slide
Slide
Slide
Slide
Slide
Slide
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Scam Prevention

Here are some tips to help protect yourself and your computer:

1. Never give personal information to a stranger who contacts you, whether by telephone, email, or other means. If they ask for information that the business already has, do not give it to them. Call the company independently, using the contact information on your statement or from the official web site. No legitimate company would every request that kind of information from an email or phone call.

2. Do not assume a credible-looking web site is credible. Anyone can create a web site that looks legitimate.

3. Phishing emails are emails that look like they come from someone you trust or know (either person or business), but are actually fake and fraudulent. Be suspicious of these emails or anyone who contacts you and claims to be from a company with whom you have an account.

4. Legitimate charitable causes do not need to telephone or e-mail to solicit donations or obtain passwords or Social Security numbers to accept donations. Do not respond to these offers or pleas for help.

5. Do not accept checks from individuals you’ve only met online.

6. Do not follow the unsubscribe instructions in unsolicited e-mail. In many cases, it only verifies your e-mail address — you will get even more junk e-mail.

7. E-mail addresses or web addresses that have a company name in the address are not necessarily from that company. Go to the official web site for contact information.

8. Watch out for pop-up windows asking you to enter in financial data. Legitimate companies won’t require you to submit sensitive information this way.

9. Keep your computer protected. Having anti-virus software is great, but you also need anti-spam and spyware protection to keep scams and computer intruders at bay. Utilize and update your firewall.

10. Complicate your computer and online passwords. Don’t use a word or number easy to guess, such as your significant other’s name or birthday. Change them frequently.

11. Don’t save passwords on work computers. Don’t take the risk that someone else will have access to your computer. Don’t save those passwords on library, hotel or other public computers, either.

12. Keep your operating system up to date, because they are periodically updated to stay in tune with technology requirements and to fix security holes. Be sure to install the updates to ensure your computer has the latest protection.

13. Be careful what you download, because carelessly downloading e-mail attachments can circumvent even the most vigilant anti-virus software. Never open an e-mail attachment from someone you don’t know, and be wary of forwarded attachments from people you do know. They may have unwittingly advanced malicious code or their computer could be infected.

14. Turn off your home computer when you are done with it for more than thirty minutes. With the growth of high-speed Internet connections, many opt to leave their computers on and ready for action. The downside is that being “always on” renders computers more susceptible. Beyond firewall protection, which is designed to fend off unwanted attacks, turning the computer off effectively severs an attacker’s connection—be it spyware or other malicious program that employs your computer’s resources to reach out to other unwitting users.

15. Protect your online passwords. Don’t write them down or share them with anyone.

16. Use secure websites for transactions and shopping. Shop with merchants you know and trust. Make sure internet purchases are secured with encryption to protect your account information. Look for “secure transaction” symbols like a lock symbol in the lower right-hand corner of your web browser window, or “https://…” in the address bar of the website. The “s” indicates “secured” and means the web page uses encryption.

17. Always log off from online banking and any website after using your credit or debit card, or other sensitive information. If you cannot log off, quit your browser to prevent any potential unauthorized access to your account information.

18. Quit your browser when you’re not using the internet.

19. Be cautious when using public hotspots and consider your Wi-Fi auto-connect settings.

20. Avoid downloading programs from unknown sources.

21. Conduct online banking activities on secure computers only. Public computers (computers at internet cafes, copy centers, etc.) should be used with caution, due to shared use and possible tampering. Online banking activities and viewing or downloading documents (statements, etc.) should only be conducted on a computer you know to be safe and secure.

22. Always shred any personal documents or statements with your personal or account information on them.

23. Use your common sense and err on the side of caution. Just because someone calls or emails you and asks for your information doesn’t mean you have to give them anything at all. Take a deep breath and think clearly before divulging anything to anybody.