Millions of people are victims of cybercrime each year. Consumers lost more than $1 billion in 2015 as a result of online fraud, according to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. Here are seven suggestions to help consumers protect themselves from online fraud in honor of June Internet Safety Month.
The Internet has become one of the most widely utilized instruments for fraud, and thieves’ hacking skills are growing increasingly sophisticated. As a result, it’s critical for customers to complete financial transactions over only trustworthy, secured wireless networks and to recognize that any personal information supplied online might be utilized by criminals to commit online fraud.
- Updating your PCs and mobile devices is essential. The best protection against viruses, malware, and other internet risks are the latest security software, web browser, and operating system. Turn on automatic updates to get the latest fixes as soon as they’re released.
- Make sure your passwords are strong. A strong password contains a mix of capital and lowercase letters, digits, and special characters and is at least eight characters long.
- Be wary of phishing scams. Phishing scams deceive users into giving confidential account or login information by sending them fake emails or visiting fake websites. Do not click on any links, attachments, or pop-up windows from sources you are unfamiliar with. Phishing emails should be forwarded to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at firstname.lastname@example.org, as well as to the firm, bank, or organization impersonated in the email.
- Personal information should be kept private. Hackers can use your social media profiles to deduce your passwords and answer the security questions in password reset programs. Lockdown your privacy settings and prevent sharing personal information such as birthdays, residences, and your mother’s maiden name. Requests to connect with persons you don’t know should be avoided.
- Make sure your internet connection is secure. Always use a password to secure your home wireless network. When using public Wi-Fi networks, be cautious about the information you transfer across the network.
- Shop with caution. Check to see if the website uses secure technologies before you order online. Verify sure the web address begins with https when you go to the checkout screen. Also, see if the page has a tiny locked padlock sign on it.
What to do if you’re a victim of fraud
If you believe your personal information has been compromised and you are in danger, you should alert your bank. They’re there to provide you with advice and point you in the right direction. Keep an eye on your bank account balances. As soon as you discover anything suspicious, call your financial institution using the phone number on the back of your debit or credit card to report the bank fraud. Your bank will place a hold on this card to prevent further fraudulent transactions and will give a refund as soon as feasible after the relevant verifications have been completed. They will also carry out an inquiry into this fraud case. You can also contact the police or go to your local police station to report the bank fraud.
Banks and fund recovery firms, such as Chargebackway, provide support in the event of fraud for your safety. If you’ve been a victim of fraud, they’ll walk you through the actions you need to take.
No one is immune to slipping into one of these traps, but following these guidelines should help you stay safe and prevent a lot of problems and financial losses.