are many things you can do to reduce chances of having your identity stolen off
of the internet.
1. First, never use email to send your
social security number or credit card numbers over the internet.
Only shop online with companies you know. And make sure the site you are shopping
on uses security or encryption software to process credit cards. You can identify
sites like this by looking for the little padlock in the lower portion of your
browser. This icon is not a guarantee of a secure site, but might provide you
at least some assurance. Also, look for sites that have security verification
by companies like Verisign or Thawte.
3. Never use a debit card
while shopping on the net. Instead use a credit card with which you can dispute
the charges if something goes wrong.
4. Be careful of what sites
you give your personal information to. Never give anyone your bank account number,
social security number, or other personal information that isn't absolutely necessary
to complete your transaction.
5. Never give out your Internet
passwords. Change your passwords often, and memorize them instead of writing them
down. And don't make the passwords obvious.
Never reply to unsolicited emails from a service or company you may use (banks,
eBay, etc.) If in doubt, contact the company direct, and always make sure the
URL of the website starts with the sites name (example: www.eBay.com, not eBay.somethingelse.net,
for example). Do NOT reply to emails asking you to "confirm" your password
or other personal information.
7. Be sure and check your credit
rating twice a year. And if you feel someone might have gained access to your
credit card numbers, place a fraud alert on your credit with the credit reporting
companies. With this you will be notified if anyone tries to sign up for credit
in your name for a period of about 6 months. There are also several services available,
such as John Walsh's StreetSmart and Equifax, that provide the ability to keep
an eye on your credit and also alert you of attempts made to use your credit fraudulently.
some helpful links online for more information on internet identity theft.
further information contact Crime Prevention at 235-9406