The internet can be a potentially dangerous and frightening place for those unfamiliar with it. These days, scams and fraud are prevalent everywhere you look on the internet. It takes time and practice to be able to sort through all the advertisements and offers on the internet, and be able to determine which are legitimate and which ones are scams. With enough experience, you will develop the skills necessary to sift through the trash on the internet to access what you are looking for. Filtering all incoming information in this fashion is actually changing the way our brains work when processing data. So, how can you protect your self?
Secure your Computer
Make sure you have trusted and reliable antivirus software installed on your computer. These programs are very easy to install and are necessary for protecting your computer against viruses. Here is a good comparison chart of free and effective antivirus software you can download. This article is also useful, providing more in depth descriptions of your options.
Also, make sure you have your computer’s firewalls turned on at all times. This is done from your computer’s control panel. If you need assistance with this task, you can ask a friend or relative or hire a professional if you are not able to find someone.
Use A Strong Password
Using a secure password is the best wat to prevent anyone from accessing your accounts. Don’t use something easy to guess like your birthday, or the old classic “password”. Here is some advice on setting a solid password. Yes, it is important to create a password that is secure, but also you should make sure it is something you can remember or you will have to reset it every time you log in.
Credit Card Scams
Credit card scams are almost as old as the internet itself. Always be very careful when using your credit card on the internet. Here are some tips to avoid fraudulent behavior on your card:
- Always use secure websites (indicated by the https:// in the web address)
- Review your CC statements to look for purchases you didn’t make
- Keep your cards hidden
- Use a separate CC for online purchases
- Shred CC statements and expired cards
- If you get a call from a CC company, verify that it is a real representative you are speaking with
With so much available for purchase online it is hard to avoid purchasing online completely, just be very careful when you do.
There are all kinds of life insurance scams out there targeting the elderly. People portraying insurance brokers attempting to coax seniors out of their money by talking about secure life insurance plans that will benefit their loved ones. Always be very careful and cautious when approached about life insurance.
Be mindful of the old saying “If it is too good to be true, it probably is”. Steer clear of any offer that seems unreasonably beneficial. Chances are, it is a scam.