Where can I get more information on phishing?
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit www.ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
If in doubt check it out!!
DID YOU KNOW?
A great way to keep tabs on your identity, and find out FAST if someone is opening accounts or credit cards in your name, is by checking your credit report. A recent amendment to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months, from www.annualcreditreport.com. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation's consumer protection agency, has prepared a brochure, Your Access to Free Credit Reports, explaining your rights and how to order a free annual credit report.
TIP: Since you get one free report from each of the 3 bureaus per year, do not request them all at once. Spread them out, since you then get three free "snapshots" of your credit per year - all the better to thwart Identity Theft!
Use Security Software That Updates Automatically
The bad guys constantly develop new ways to attack your computer, so your security software must be up-to-date to protect against the latest threats. Most security software can update automatically; set yours to do so. You can find free security software from well-known companies. Also, set your operating system and web browser to update automatically.
If you let your operating system, web browser, or security software get out-of-date, criminals could sneak their bad programs-malware-onto your computer and use it to secretly break into other computers, send spam, or spy on your online activities. There are steps you can take to detect and get rid of malware. Don’t buy security software in response to unexpected pop-up messages or emails, especially messages that claim to have scanned your computer and found malware. Scammers send messages like theses to try to get you to buy worthless software, or worse, to “break and enter” your computer.
Treat Your Personal Information Like Cash
Don’t hand it out to just anyone. Your Social Security number, credit card numbers, and bank and utility account numbers can be used to steal your money or open new accounts in your name. So every time you are asked for your personal information-whether in a web form, an email, a text, or a phone message- think about whether you can really trust the request. In an effort to steal your information, scammers will do everything they can to appear trustworthy. Learn more about scammers who phish for your personal information.
Check Out Companies to Find out Whom You’re Really Dealing With
When you’re online, a little research can save you a lot of money. If you see an ad or an offer that looks good to you, take a moment to check out the company behind in. Type the company or product name into your favorite search engine with terms like “review”, “complaint”, or “scam.” If you find bad reviews, you’ll have to decide if the offer is worth the risk. If you can’t find contact information for the company, take your business elsewhere.
Don’t assume that an ad you see on a reputable site is trustworthy. The fact that a site features an ad for another site doesn’t mean that it endorses the advertised site, or is even familiar with it.
Give Personal Information Over Encrypted Websites Only
If you’re shopping or banking online, stick to sites that use encryption to protect your information as it travels from your computer to their server. To determine if a website is encrypted, look for https at the beginning of the web address (the “s” is for secure).
Some websites use encryption only on the sign-in page, but if any part of your session isn’t encrypted, the entire account could be vulnerable. Look for https on every page of the site you’re on, not just where you sign in.
Protect Your Passwords Here are a few principles for creating strong passwords and keeping them safe:
- The longer the password, the tougher it is to crack. Use at least 10 characters; 12 is ideal for most home users.
- Mix letters, numbers, and special characters. Try to be unpredictable- don’t use your name, birth date, or common words.
- Don’t use the same password for many accounts. If it’s stolen from you - or from one of the companies with which you do business- it can be used to take over all our accounts.
- Don’t share passwords on the phone, in texts or by email. Legitimate companies will not send you messages asking for your password. IF you get such a message, it’s probably a scam.
- Keep your passwords in a secure place, out of plain sight.
Back Up Your Files