Helpful Tips to Help Avoid Internet Identity Theft

Most of us are concerned about internet identity theft when transacting personal information online. Is it possible to avoid being a victim to these life changing crimes? It’s impossible to ensure your security, but there are certain precautions you can take to help ensure your online security.

The Federal Trade Commission has recently issued warnings on how more and more online criminals are using new tricks called spoofing and phishing to steal your identity. This usually involves bogus e-mails that trick consumers into giving out personal information which is then used to steal identities.

The e-mails can be very convincing, and are often made to resemble a legitimate trusted source the victims may be familiar with, asking the victim to verify personal information for one reason or another. It’s recommended that you never respond over the internet to requests for such verifications.

When you see solicitations which may appear to be from known source, utilize your normal means of contacting this source, such as a phone number from a bill or statement from the source. Call the customer service you normally use to verify if the e-mail is legitimate.

It’s basic online security knowledge to “NEVER OPEN UNFAMILIAR E-MAILS”. Not only can you be tricked into such scams, but opening these e-mails can also allow access to harmful viruses. Delete any unfamiliar e-mails prior to opening them, or you may very well regret your actions.

Always use extreme caution prior to transacting personal and/or financial information over the internet. Only transact this type of information when you initiate the contact from known links you have secured, or when you are absolutely certain of the identity of the transaction recipient.

Most consumers have already used the internet to transact personal information at some point, so it’s important to use every precaution possible. Most legitimate companies allow customers to log-in to a secure page, look for a lock at the bottom of your browser.

Be aware of the web address in the header of e-mails. Most legitimate companies will have a simple and usually short address followed by .com, .org, or .net.. Most spoofing sites have a very long address which may or may not contain the name or the legitimate company.

Contact the legitimate company for verification if you have any doubts what-so-ever about an e-mail
containing their name. Send them a copy of the e-mail for verification. Always report fraudulent or suspicious e-mails to your ISP.

Internet identity theft can be extremely devastating to it’s victims, especially if the theft goes undetected for any length of time. So again, take all precautions to avoid being victimized.

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