Sunday, October 5, 2008

Prevent identity theft and surfing safely...

There are several steps you can take to make yourself less of a target for identity theft and make your computer and internet surfing experience safer.

My biggest bit of advice is to keep your virus protection and spyware programs current and updated. Run scans regularly.

Get a free email address (or 2) to use for online purchases, fourm posting or anywhere you have to use an email to submit something. If you use your personal email, after a while you will start getting spam. Some of my favorite free email address are Yahoo, Fastmail and Hotmail. And do not bother to "unsubscribe" from the link on the bottom of an unwanted email. this just verifies that you have a valid email address to the spammer. Instead use your email options to set your filters to screen bulk email and spam.

Do not click on links or download attachments in emails even if you think you know who they are from. And most important, do not enter personal information in email links or websites you were referred to, or navigated to by email. No matter how official they look, as they could be fraudulent or fake! If you get an unexpected email from someone you know that contains an attachment or a suspicious link - call them and verify they sent it.

Do not be afraid to purchase items online, as some of the best deals are found here. However, create an account with your credit card company and log in regularly to monitor credit card activity. It is easier for a criminal to create a new account online using your information, than it is for them to hack your password.

Also use "
Shop Safe" or an equivalent. You can generate a temporary credit card number that you can set the amount and expiration date. It works the same as your regular credit card number, but if someone gets the number, they cannot use it. Learn more HERE. Ask your credit card company if they have it, or get one at

When filling forms on line with personal information, make sure the web address in your browser starts with https:// and not http://. The "s" indicates a secure page.

Get LifeLock Proactive identity theft protection. For only $10 per month, they offer a $1 Million identity theft protection guarantee. Also reduces junk mail and unsolicited credit card offers. You can learn more here and get 10% discount.

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