These days becoming an online fraud victim is almost more common than having your house broken into. That’s because it’s a lot easier to trick you online and access your banking information than risk being caught by the police when forcing your door open. Unfortunately, there is no universal recipe for protecting yourself from online fraud. Nevertheless, there are a few things you can do to minimize the risk of being caught out.
1. Use Reliable Security Software
Most Windows users know how important it is to have antivirus software installed on their computers. There are a lot of different antiviruses and security suites available today, but not all of them have the features to protect you from online fraud. When choosing an antivirus, make sure that it offers real-time protection, has privacy control features and anti-phishing tools.
2. Never Share Your Bank Details
Whether you are a buyer or a seller, you should avoid sharing your bank details with anyone. There are plenty of secure online payment systems, such as PayPal, Moneybookers and AlertPay to name a few that only need an email address to send or receive payments.
Another thing to avoid is bogus emails pretending to be from your bank. If you receive an email asking you to enter a new PIN or update your information, ignore it and notify your bank immediately.
3. Never Respond to Suspicious emails
Most people receive dozens of emails from unknown senders and sometimes it’s very tempting to reply to one or two of them. Well, don’t. Responding to such emails will only tell spammers that your email address exists and they will start bombarding you with spam.
4. Verify The Seller
Sad as it is, but there are a lot of bogus online stores out there. That’s why you should check and double check unknown stores, especially if they are offering deals that sound too good to be true. A legitimate store will always use a verified secure connection (https://), have security seals, and have clear shipping, return and refund policies. If you are not sure about a particular vendor, you can check it out on ripoffreport.com.
5. Use Your Credit Card
When shopping online, it’s always safer to use a credit card. That’s because credit cards offer better fraud protection and you won’t have to pay huge overdraft fees if something goes wrong.
These tips will help you to stay away from cyber criminals and protect yourself from online fraud. Remember to always rely on your common sense and you will never become the next fraud victim.
[Photo Credit – Lance Wolf]