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Preventing fraud

Preventing Fraud

March 14, 2013

These days, there’s no shortage of threats to your financial security. From phishing scams and spyware to card skimming and malware, consumers need to take the necessary precautionary measures. The good news: It’s easier than you think to outsmart today’s con artists. Here’s how to protect your financial information from fraudsters. 

Use common sense 

Did you just receive an email promising a wad of cash as long as you open a bank account for a complete stranger in a far-off land? Here’s a basic rule of thumb: If someone asks you to provide credit card information over the Internet, don’t — as it’s probably a scam. Another golden rule: if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. 

Create strong and unique passwords 

Online banking offers plenty of benefits including greater convenience and 24/7 accessibility to your accounts. That’s all the more reason to make sure you never share your Internet banking passwords. More importantly, be sure to create a complex password with a combination of numbers and case-sensitive letters. And never log in to your online account from an insecure computer network. 

Take advantage of technology 

The world may be swarming with hackers but there are plenty of tech tools you can take advantage of to stop ill-intentioned intruders in their tracks. Anti-virus software, anti-spyware and firewall protection programs can be configured to alert you to attacks or threats. Just make sure you update your software regularly for full effect. 

Know who to call 

If you suspect a software virus has infected your computer, or your credit card information has been compromised, you need to act quickly. Contact your bank and create a list of the people you need to alert right away if you suspect you’re a victim of fraud. The faster you react, the less damage will be done.