88 - Internet and online security
in an area requesting you to login or provide other
sensitive data. Another sign that you have a secure
connection is the small lock icon in the bottom of your web
browser (usually the right-hand corner).
• Pay attention to privacy policies on web sites and in
information before you share it with them.
• Guard your email address. Spammers and "phishers"
sometimes send millions of messages to email addresses
that may or may not exist in hopes of finding a potential
victim. Responding to these messages or even downloading
images ensures you will be added to their lists for more of
the same messages in the future. Also be careful when
posting your email address online in newsgroups, blogs or
Online offers that look too good to be true usually are
The old saying "there's no such thing as a free lunch" still
rings true today. Supposedly "free" software such as screen
savers or smileys, secret investment tricks sure to make you
untold fortunes, and contests that you've surprisingly won
without entering are the enticing hooks used by companies
to grab your attention.
While you may not directly pay for the software or service
with money, the free software or service you asked for may
have been bundled with advertising software ("adware") that
tracks your behavior and displays unwanted advertisements.
You may have to divulge personal information or purchase
something else in order to claim your supposed content
winnings. If an offer looks so good it's hard to believe, ask
for someone else's opinion, read the fine print, or even
better, simply ignore it.
Review bank and credit card statements regularly
The impact of identity theft and online crimes can be greatly
reduced if you can catch it shortly after your data is stolen
or when the first use of your information is attempted. One
of the easiest ways to get the tip-off that something has