Windsor Geek
Things you can do to help minimise the possibility of identity theft (phishing) while online


1. Be wary of which sites you visit and share your personal information with - Only make online purchases through trusted or 'known' websites. If in doubt check to see if there's a telephone-based sales or service line through which you can do whatever you need to do.

2. Have up-to-date security software - Install anti-virus or anti-spyware on your computer and never click on links incorporated into an email unless you are absolutely sure that itís bona-fide and safe. Be extra wary of any request to reveal or confirm your personal information.

3. Monitor your online accounts - It's easy to make a habit of checking your online accounts regularly. The purpose: to make sure thereís nothing suspicious going on.

4. Passwords - Avoid using the option to save your passwords. Agreed it's really easy to take this option just for the convenience. However entering a password doesnít take that much time.  Also, the more complicated your password is, the better.  Create a password which incorporates as many of the following: 8 or more characters in length, capital letters, lower-case letters, symbols and numbers. And finally change your passwords  regularly.

5. Security tokens - Some banks are starting to offer security tokens that change numbers every few seconds as an added security over your password when logging onto your online account.  If you're able to get one of these then take it.

6. Shared or public computers - Be very wary of logging onto your accounts using a public computer. If possible avoid doing so. But if you've no alternative be very careful not to save your personal information, especially your password and make sure that when done you're careful to log out of any accounts you log into.

7. Public WiFi hotspots - be very cautious when using a public WiFi hotspot. There are cases where hackers have been able to 'listen in' on communications taking place on other users' laptops, phones or tablets in use at these locations. This article provides some good advice on  ways to ensure that you're as secure as you can be when using a public WiFi hotspot.


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