Here are some useful steps to protect yourself from any fraud or scam there is. I do believe if you follow pursuit that you will be more secure than before.
We all hear and read it in the media on a daily basis about data breaches, identity theft, telephone fraud and online scam, you name it.
Unfortunately, our constant new improved technology isn’t just a blessing for our personal use but will give fraudsters also a huge advantage and opportunity to refine and improve their criminal approach to get our well-earned money into their pockets.
According to a report from Javelin Strategy & Research’s 2015 Identity Fraud Study, swindlers and hackers have “earned” $ 16 billion from 12,7 million U.S citizens in 2014.
This is absolutely huge and shocking. But, it gets worse.
The Identity Theft Research Center has reported that there were 783 recorded data breaches alone in 2014, this also is a new record high.
Even though this all sounds very grim, there is still some steps we as consumers and citizens can do to protect ourselves our property and our identity.
- Don’t give away your financial information just because you are being asked for. Swindlers and fraudsters are very clever, they can create faulty identities appearing as being from your bank, a known retailer or even from a government agency, nothing is secure enough to them to be used to get to you and your good nature.
- They can say that your account as been compromised or needs an update. When in doubt if this call is legit, hang up and call back or use the correct phone number you have on record and ask if there is a problem that you just have received a suspicious phone call.
- Don’t open any links in an email you don’t know the sender. However, this alone can be very tricky because some fraudsters will use an email address plus the name of a person who is in your contact list and therefore is a person of trust to you. Here alone only instinct can help when you get an uneasy feeling according to the content of the email.
- When this happens my suggestion is to write a new short email (don’t use the reply button) to the person in question and ask if they had sent you an email regarding this content etc.
- The same goes when you get an email from your bank or another institution of your knowledge. It just happened to my husband yesterday. He showed me the email which looked like it was from our bank institute and asked me what I think? I said immediately delete it, it is a fraud.
- Never give out your Social Security number or of the same. When being asked through a phone call or an email to reveal any kind of identification, do the same steps first like described above.
- Use only tough and strong passwords for your online business, website access etc. Keep your passwords on records away from the computer in a ring binder, notebook etc. But, never on file on your computer or mobile devices.
- Have a good Antivirus and Anti-Spyware program installed. Keep it updated too.
- Don’t wire any money if you are not 100% sure that it is the person you think you do know. In the recent past, media has informed the public how fraudsters are using an identity fraud, especially when it comes to seniors, to be their grandson or grand-daughter in financial distress and in need to have wired a certain amount of money immediately, these seniors would have lost their money for good. Always make sure you are doing the right thing, even though it is emotional to you, do your research first.
- Be very careful when downloading software. If you know the website and you trust the source then there shouldn’t be a problem. But, sometimes when you are visiting a new website and there is a nice, looking good and trusting button who claims by downloading this software it will detect any unsafe sources on your computer. You can bet on it that you are just doing this unsafely deed to yourself when downloading and installing this unknown program.
- Most of the time this so-called “system scan” is a huge security risk to the operating system. This downloaded “malware” program sometimes is hard to get rid off and in extreme cases, people even have lost their whole computer, not even a computer tech could have helped them.
- When buying online with a new and unknown retailer, do your research first to make sure this website you are buying from is legit and safe.
- Only donate to organizations you have done business with before. When you receiving an email or a phone call solicitation for a charity etc. again, do your research first and make sure this is safe. Never let yourself be pressured into something you are not sure of just yet.
- SSL Certificate is a special security layer to protect from Hackers and other forms of online attacks. When shopping online check for this secure address. (see picture). All major retailer and Banks have already updated their online presence.
It isn’t easy nowadays to not fall into a trap created by swindlers and fraudsters. Every day new scams and frauds are being set up on the internet and otherwise, especially when it comes to internet marketing.
The only thing you can do for yourself is staying cool and focused.
Always do your homework and do some research first when in question. It will pay off by protecting yourself from bigger harm.
Do you have been scammed once? If so, let me hear your story by leaving a comment below.
Wishing you always the Best 🙂