1) Email attachments
Billions of emails are sent on computers around the world each day. The number one way to avoid identity theft is to just
hit the delete key. Many look legitimate but don't engage, don't reply, just delete them. Never open email attachments
from strangers. The files could contain a computer virus or offensive material or claim you are the winner of a prize
drawing. Although email is relatively private, hackers can still access it and add you to their spam lists. Do not engage
by replying to bogus emails, and do not click on any message that suggests you unsubscribe. Spam advertisements can be
more than just annoying.
2) If you decide to meet someone...
If you decide to meet someone in person from Online, go to a public place and let friends and family know your plans.
If someone Online asks you too many personal questions, be suspicious. Stop talking with them. Always remember that people
online may not be who they say they are. It is very easy for people to pretend to be someone they are not.
3) Protect your computer
Get a good anti-virus program, spyware remover, and firewall. A computer virus or trojan horse spyware program that
sneaks its way onto your computer can compromise your private information. These malicious programs can scan through your
entire harddrive and send what it finds out over the internet.
4) Use parental controls
Monitor children (under 12) closely and use parental controls. If something you see or read online makes you uncomfortable,
leave the site.
5) Protect your passwords
Change your passwords often. Don't share your password with anyone else. Use a combination of letters/numbers and special
characters and that you don't identify whether you're male or female.
6) Check the URL
Check the URL and make sure the site you are visiting is really what you think it is before you enter your password. Cyber
criminals pretend to represent a company, such as PayPal or your credit card issuer, and informs you that you need to
respond with some information or click on a link. The thief may even claim to represent a charity or sweepstakes giveaway.
Don't be fooled. Don't respond and don't click the link, even if it appears to be legitimate. Some cyber criminals use
phishing scams to set up convincing spoofs of legitimate web sites. They then try to trick you into visiting these web sites
and disclosing personal information, such as your credit card number. The spoofed site is usually designed to look like the
legitimate site, sometimes using components from the legitimate site. Another way to help protect yourself from fake web
sites is to install the latest version of Internet Explorer or Firefox web browsers onto your computer. Both have filters
that can detect fake web sites. You can also right click on a hyperlink and by selecting Properties this should reveal a
links real destination.
7) Do not give out your...
Do not give out your personal information to anyone Online that you don't know. For example information like your full name, age or
8) Be careful what you send or receive Online
If you receive unwanted, offensive, mean, threatening, or harassing emails, do not respond to them. Also be careful of the
pictures you send or receive over the Internet. It's not just strangers who can make you feel uncomfortable Online.
Cyberbullying refers to cruel or bullying messages sent to you Online from anyone.
9) Carefully choose your Online settings
Many Online Web services allow you to chat with others. Go to the preferences or options menu and carefully choose settings.
It is best to turn off messages from all users and only add people to your buddy list that you know or someone you choose
to talk to. Bad or annoying programs may invade your messenger box or chat windows, such as spam bots, boot codes, or tools.
These can damage your computer and record your Online activities. Always set your preferences to the highest security
10) Report fraud
For more information on reporting it visit
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