When it comes to fighting fraud, it pays to be informed.
The more you recognize fraud, the more likely you are to avoid becoming a victim of fraudulent scams.
Keep the following tips in mind for online fraud prevention:
- Be certain that your computer is equipped with current antivirus protection and firewalls to block trespassers.
- Do not open but immediately delete unsolicited e-mails or pop-up messages requesting personal information.
- Do not send personal or sensitive business information via unsecured e-mail.
- Do not keep personal or business information, passwords or account numbers online or on websites where they are easily accessible for interception by others.
- Change your passwords frequently; do not use dates, names, etc. that could easily be guessed.
- Only conduct online business with reputable firms via a secure web connection â€“ those that begin with the characters “https://” in the address in your browser. These characters verify that you are visiting a secure website that uses encryption to protect your identity and your information.
- You should also verify if the site has a valid SSL certificate. Many newer browsers will alert the user if the certificate is not valid. However, you may wish to double-click the lock icon to verify if the certificate is still valid.
- Check merchant privacy policies and only conduct business with those whose published privacy policies are acceptable to you.
- Log off the Internet when you are not actively using it.
- When banking online, remain at your computer throughout the entire transaction and sign off completely and immediately when your transaction is finished.
- Make arrangements to have your account information, credit card statements and any additional sensitive financial correspondence sent to you online directly from your bank, credit card company and other financial service providers.
- Utilize S&T’s ExpressNet or Business Online Banking with online statements to receive your bank statements in a secure environment.
- Take advantage of your ability to request a free credit report each year. You are able to request up to 3 times per year. You can do this at annualcreditreport.com