Here are some tips to keep in mind that can help prevent you from falling victim to fraud.
We rely a lot on technology to protect us, however it is still everyone’s personal responsibility to use their technology safely and keep up to date on what they need to do to protect themselves.
Choose passwords that are at least 8 characters, and contain numbers, lower and upper case letters, and special characters. Do not use the same password between websites, especially sites that contain financial information such as online banking.
Ensure you are running anti-virus and keeping it up to date to protect yourself from viruses and malware that can steal personal information, send spam, and commit fraud.
Make sure your computer software is up to date with the most recent recommended patches. This includes applying patches for web browsers, office suites, and associated applications such as Adobe Flash and Java. Missing patches are the easiest way someone can compromise your computer system.
Avoid performing any kind of Online Banking or Mobile Banking transaction over open Wi-Fi connections as it is much easier for information to be stolen or compromised this way. It is much safer to use your 3G or 4G cellular connection for these types of transactions.
If you have a laptop it is important to use a personal firewall to protect yourself and your data while on the go and connecting to networks other than your home or work. Personal firewalls are also recommended for desktop PCs, but they are essential for mobile devices. Both Microsoft Windows and Mac OS have a firewall built in. To verify these settings on a Windows computer, go to Control Panel and on a Mac, go to System Preferences and click on Security and Privacy.
As much as people are afraid of someone breaking into their PC or compromising their data it is even more common to experience a hardware or software failure causing you to lose your data. Backing up information on your PC regularly is recommended so you do not lose important information. This includes backing up the data on your mobile device such as photos and contacts.
Control physical access to your computer or mobile device to prevent unauthorized access to your online accounts, and prevent the possibility of malicious software such as key loggers or tracking software from being installed by other people. Use a password to lock your computer or mobile device and make sure to lock it when away.