How to Avoid Online Fraud Pt 1.

How can you combat online fraud?

Whether criminals are trying to target you with phishing or pharming schemes, trojans and viruses, or something else entirely – you can fight identity theft and avoid becoming a victim of online fraud with the following tips.

1. Check your bank statements

It’s easier than ever for fraudsters to go after bank details thanks to online banking; but it’s also easier for users to check bank statements now that every detail is available at the touch of a button. Some banks will alert you if they detect suspicious activity, but only you will really know where you’ve been spending your money, so be sure to check your balance on a regular basis.

2. Be careful when opening attachments

Think carefully before opening email attachments, especially when these come from senders that you don’t know. Some of the most destructive viruses are spread via attachments (see: I Love You, for example) and while rigorous filters are applied to emails, it’s still important to make sure you know the sender and that you have an idea of what should be in the file.

3. Keep your operating system (OS) and software up-to-date

Norton is fixing issues with your computer as soon as criminals are able to exploit them, so it’s essential that you keep all software up-to-date if you’re going to avoid becoming a victim of online fraud. This doesn’t just apply to your Internet protection software though; most software manufacturers, including your OS provider, regularly release security patches that make it more difficult for fraudsters to get hold of your details.

4. Disable file sharing on your computer

File sharing is enabled by default on most computers running certain versions of Windows, which means that anyone in your workgroup is able to see your files. Choosing to disable file sharing doesn’t mean that you can’t allow access to people; instead it just means that you’re able to choose who you show your files to.

Computers running on Microsoft’s older operating systems are at risk, particularly the Windows XP operating system, and more so as less support becomes available through Windows Update.

  1. Open My Computer
  2. On the Tools menu, click Folder Options
  3. Click the View tab
  4. Go to Advanced Settings and uncheck Use simple file sharing (Recommended).


5. Use a strong password

Choosing a strong password for all services you use (preferably a different password for each service) will make it harder for thieves to gain access to your details. When selecting a password use at least eight characters, with a mixture of upper and lower case and both letters and numbers.

It’s also important to avoid using names or interests as passwords; this information is easy to get hold of from your social media profiles, as well as being easy to guess.

Norton Internet Security encrypts passwords for secure storage; monitors them for unapproved usage to ensure that you don’t enter your password anywhere by mistake and notifies you if the website you’re visiting offers secure login capabilities.

6. Read the website’s privacy policy

Almost all websites display a privacy policy, which can usually be found in the footer but is occasionally displayed more prominently. If you are asked to enter any confidential or personal data, take a look at the site’s policy. If you do not trust the site, do not enter any details.

7. Don’t give away your PIN code

Your bank will never ask you for your PIN code – over the phone, via email or on the website. If you’re being asked to disclose your PIN, the person you’re communicating with may not be a representative of your bank: DON’T give it to them.

8. Open websites in new browser windows before entering personal details

Don’t enter any personal information if you’ve arrived on a website from an external link or pop-up ad, even on a real site. Open a new browser window and type the URL directly into the address bar to ensure the site is legitimate; as explained above, pharming schemes can cause genuine websites to direct unsuspecting users to malicious pages, so ensure you’re on the correct page before inputting information.



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