• Pay attention to privacy policies on Web sites and in software.
It is important to understand how an organization might collect and
use your personal 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 communities.
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 gone wrong is by reviewing the monthly
statements provided by your bank and credit card companies for
anything out of the ordinary.
Additionally, many banks and services use fraud prevention systems
that call out unusual purchasing behavior (i.e. if you live in Texas and
all of the sudden start buying refrigerators in Budapest). In order to
confirm these out of the ordinary purchases, they might call you and
ask you to confirm them. Don't take these calls lightly; this is your hint
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