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8 Mistakes That Expose You to Online Fraud
8 Mistakes That Expose You to Online Fraud #1. Giving out personal information n Do not respond to the phishing e-mails, fill out any forms asking for personal information or click on the links contained in the e-mails. n The links can direct you to fake Web sites or force you to download a program that spies on everything you type n Legitimate companies do not ask for sensitive personal information by e-mail
8 Mistakes That Expose You to Online Fraud #2. Paying with cash, check or money order n Paying with cash, check or a money order leaves you little or no hope of getting your money back should anything go wrong. n When you pay with a credit card, federal law limits your liability to $50 for unauthorized purchases. Some credit cards have policies that limit your liability to $0. n If you're not comfortable revealing your credit card number to an online merchant, use Pay. Pal a service that shields your account number from view. n Debit cards are a little better than cashier's checks and money orders, but if you don't catch the fraud within a couple of days, your liability under federal law is $500, not $50 as with credit cards. If you don't catch the fraud within 60 days, you could be out the whole amount.
8 Mistakes That Expose You to Online Fraud # 3. Letting retailers store your credit card data It may be a pain to re-type your credit card number over again on a website that you buy from often but, hackers can get access to credit card numbers that are stored by a retailer.
8 Mistakes That Expose You to Online Fraud #4. Using 'soft' passwords or storing them where others can find them n Have a different password for every account. n Make sure your passwords are not any available information such as phone numbers or birthdates. n Make sure your passwords are at least six characters long, with mixtures of letters and numbers. n Do NOT write your passwords on Post-its or store them on lists saved onto your computer.
8 Mistakes That Expose You to Online Fraud # 5. Failing to keep up with computer security Computer Security is very important and needs ongoing attention. At least use the following: n A firewall: This will protect your computer from others gaining access to it via the Internet. n Virus protection software: This will monitor both incoming and outgoing files for your computer, alerting you if you've received a known virus (and killing it). You'll need to update it frequently to protect against the latest viruses. n Security patches for your computer's operating system: An "unpatched" PC that's connected to the Internet would only make it online for about 20 minutes before being hit by dangerous programs from hackers. Downloading the latest security patches can help protect you against these threats.
8 Mistakes That Expose You to Online Fraud # 6. Failing to keep records of your transactions n Most retailers routinely e-mail your receipt. But if you're dealing with a less-than-honest individual, or you simply enter the wrong e-mail address, that receipt may never hit your inbox. n It's best to print a copy of the transaction confirmation page or save a copy onto your computer, so long as it doesn't contain your credit card number.
8 Mistakes That Expose You to Online Fraud #7. Failing to do your homework n Most too-good-to-be-true deals are just that. n It may be worth it to go with a well-known retailer that provides many ways to contact them. n If a retail site looks shady check them out at the Better Business Bureau. Some sites can trick you and appear legit by posting fake Better Business and e. Trust logos without living up to their standards. Do a search on the company. n You can also perform a search on a company at Ripoffreport. com to see if there any complaints against that business.
8 Mistakes That Expose You to Online Fraud # 8. Ignoring your financial statements n Unauthorized withdrawals or charges can be the first tip-off that something's wrong. n Check all monthly bank and credit card statements that arrive in the mail n Sign into your accounts online and review transactions on a regular basis. n Review your credit report regularly. It can alert you to suspicious activity, and show if someone else has opened any accounts in your name.