The Internet offers a global marketplace for consumers and businesses. However, criminals also recognize the potential of the Internet. The same scams that have reached us by telephone and in our mailbox can now be found on the World Wide Web and in emails. Organizations such as Internet Crime Complaint Center have also contributed to the numerous complaints received worldwide. These online criminals have also started to use the computer and the internet to transmit their criminal activities. There are reliable groups of such people that stay on top of the current online scams and crimes that are occurring. Let’s take a look at 10 tips for safe internet surfing.
1. Identity theft is a crime that affects a huge proportion of the global population. Unless preventative measures are taken, it is likely that your identity will be stolen, and your life completely controlled by someone else. The key is to have a quality identity theft protection service provider.
2. Internet fraud is on the rise. If you have been approached by an online employment agency, you should run away from that rather quickly. There are online criminals that actually use the internet to target not only unsuspecting victims, but they sometimes use it to identify victims.
3. The fraudulent schemes might be carried out through the use of money mules. These are short term contract workers that promise to provide a service or product in exchange for a promised amount. However, they usually collect only a little money, if at all, and then they quickly run away with the money.
4. There are also scammers who send out fake emails that look like they are from a well known bank, insurance company or some other entity. Once you click on the link, they will ask you to update your account information. Some other fraudulent emails include ones that claim you have won a large sum in a lottery you never entered. They ask you to request a transfer of money from your existing account to pay for taxes, etc.
5. If you receive an email that requests information from you, do not reply to that email. Delete it without even opening it. Don’t forward it along with the header to another person because if you do, and they forward it on, you may end up with a NIGERIAN JUNKIE AS A FOREIGN SEATS COFFINHOUND!
6. When submitting your own information, be sure that it is specific and accurate. In responding to an email, be sure to address all security issues including spelling errors, grammar errors, andersions.
7. When purchasing items online, use your real name. Use your nickname as a password to avoid contamination in your account.
8. Don’t give out highly sensitive information in an email. Anything from account numbers to your current and previous employers’ names and addresses.
9. If you receive a “spam” emailnat ask yourself, why did you send it?
10. Especially if you have given out your password, PIN number, or credit card number, don’t open any mail from someone you don’t know.
If you feel unsafe on the Internet, you can stay off of it entirely by using anti-spam software and having a reliable firewall installed. While you are surfing the internet, whether at home or in the office, you should keep your software updated and run the latest firewall scans. The best thing to do is to not let your guard down because someone waiting to attack your computer is surely going to be clicking from time to time.