Updated: Tuesday, 12 Mar 2013, 1:54 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 20 Mar 2013, 3:00 AM EDT
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOTV) - Email and the internet are important components to the way we communicate and conduct transactions. Precautions are always necessary when using the internet and responding to emails. In addition to the importance of having updated anti-virus software protection on your computer, you are your first and best layer of defense in protection against online fraud.
Here are some helpful tips you can use to protect yourself:
• Learn to spot fraudulent emails and websites. If you don’t recognize the sender of an email, contact the sender separately with your own email or via phone to verify the authenticity of the email
• Be careful when receiving attachments to an email. If you’re not aware of the validity of the sender, do not open, as these may contain malicious spyware or malware to your computer
• Be aware of deceptive URLs and fake links. Hover over the indicated link to verify the true URL direction it will lead you. Legitimate companies use domain names that you will recognize. Fraudulent links could direct you to a fake website, attempting to collect personal identification, install spyware onto your computer, enabling a hacker to monitor your actions and steal any login IDs passwords, or credit card numbers you type in later, or download a virus that could disable your computer.
• Be aware of emails that send a false sense of urgency, as many fake emails try to deceive you to think that your account is in jeopardy unless you provide immediate response to update your account information
• Look for safe site references such as the ‘https’ to precede web addresses where you are asked to input personal identification (such as an online loan application). If you don’t see the ‘https’, you’re not at a secure site and should not input information
• Be careful when seeing pop up boxes within an email, as these may lead to a malicious site
• Keep your user IDs and passwords safe – use a strong password that is difficult for others to guess, and never share your password with others
• Exercise caution when using public computers as public web browsers can cache personal data and store login and password details. Always log off and clear browser cache
• Ensure your anti-virus protection is regularly updated and enabled
* All articles provided are for information only and are not to be construed as legal advice.
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