Fighting Internet Fraud

Safe Surfing – If you're not sure, don't open it!

Our recommendation is that you only download files from sites you are familiar with and have grown to trust.

Things to watch for when using the internet:

  • If it seems to good to be true, it probably is
  • Legitimate websites typically list a support phone number on the site. If there isn't one listed this is a possible red flag
  • Watch for poor grammar and spelling mistakes
  • Criminals will often use different domain names in the URL and email address. (Ex. www.domainname.com and john.doe@domainname.com have the same domain name)
  • If you're concerned about a site, search the name or URL to see if there are any complaints indicating fraud
  • When making purchases, is the site encrypted? Look for "https" and the padlock

If you are concerned that you cannot tell if a site is legitimate or not, then do not use the site

Protecting your account and personal information online:

  • Maintain your computer with virus and malware protection and regular security updates
  • Don't respond to unsolicited emails requesting personal information
  • Do not click on links or attachments in unsolicited e-mail
  • Keep a close eye on your checking and savings account balances. Notify your bank immediately of any suspicious activity
  • For security purposes it is NOT recommended to use unsecured public Wi-Fi to access sites
  • Always type the URL (site address) in the browser
  • Use strong passwords you can remember
  • Stay away from using common names as a password
  • Do not share your password with anyone
  • Always log off when you are done
  • Close the Internet Browser when finished and/or reopen a new one between sites to help break cookie connections from each site

Tips for selecting strong passwords:

  • Use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters
  • Use upper case and lower case letters
  • Don't use passwords that are based on personal information that can be easily accessed or guessed
  • Don't use words that can be found in any dictionary of any language
  • Develop a mnemonic for remember complex passwords (Never Eat Soggy Waffles "NESW")
  • Use passphrases when you can (Bankingyourw@y!)
  • Use different passwords on different systems
  • Don't use similar passwords for financial sites (Banking, Credit Cards, and other sites containing personal information) and social media sites (Facebook, MySpace, email accounts etc.)
  • Longer passwords are stronger than short ones

Using these tips will make it more difficult and help prevent someone from learning your password.

Resources:

This information is offered up for the general guidance and is not intended as, nor should it be construed as legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues on this topic.