Fraudsters continue to find new ways to separate you from your personal information and your money. No one is immune from identity theft. With a few simple steps, you can avoid some of the biggest and fastest growing traps. Even if your information, account or identity is compromised you shouldn’t panic. With proper advanced planning you should be able to minimize the loss of both time and money.
Consumers aren’t the only ones at risk of online fraud. From recent data breaches at major retailers to increasing incidents of fraudulent emails, businesses are increasingly at risk of email and online fraud. Many online safety precautions that apply to consumers can also protect businesses.
10 Ways to Prevent Fraud
Here are ten helpful ways to protect yourself:
1. Recognize the Risks
Knowing that con artists employ a variety of strategies including impersonation, advance and urgent fee notifications, and phishing schemes is crucial. The majority of con artists communicate with their victims over the phone or via email in addition to through the mail or in person. Begin screening your calls; if the number is unknown, allow the caller to leave a message. Do not open an email if it seems off.
2. Separate Financial Information
Use a dedicated work station for all company banking tasks for users who are businesses, in particular. Access the Internet and carry out non-banking activities on other computers. When it’s time to retire the computer used to access business banking, make sure to back up any sensitive data and delete the hard disc before disposal.
3. Don’t Share Your Passwords
Passwords shouldn’t be shared, and you shouldn’t keep any papers that provide access to financial data in an insecure location. Use a mix of letters, numbers, and unusual characters in your passwords wherever you can to increase security. Both the default SSID and password for your wireless network should be changed. Consider employing encryption on your network and avoid broadcasting your SSID.
4. No Phishing Is Accepted
Avert phishing emails at all costs. These emails are intended to persuade you to verify or otherwise alter your account by clicking links contained within. Malicious software, sometimes known as malware, can be installed on the computer or device you use to access your email by fraudsters via the links provided in their emails. It is possible to collect personal data using this malware.
5. Observe Bank Accounts Carefully
Always keep an eye on and analyse your accounts and bank statements. When feasible, avoid using a debit card in favour of a low-limit credit card.
6. Safeguard Your Computer
It’s critical to install antivirus software on your computer or network due to the increase in cyberattacks. To stop viruses from invading your computer, it’s crucial to make sure you run and update this programme often. The following software applications can also assist you in thwarting harmful online activity:
- Anti-Spam Software: Assists in preventing spam and unwanted email from reaching your inbox, protecting you against phishing emails.
- Firewall: Viruses and malware can’t enter your computer without your permission thanks to the firewall.
- Anti-Spyware Software: Prevents the installation of spyware, which can track or regulate how you use your computer, give you pop-up ads, or reroute your browser to dangerous websites.
7. Utilize Caution
- Keep a constant eye on your surroundings. Report anything strange you see right away to the police. Never utilise public Wi-Fi or hotspots to do crucial business.
8. Keep in Mind The Risks Associated With False Emails And Phone Calls
The news is still dominated by reports of the Russian breach of the Democratic party. It may not come as a surprise that the hacker employed email phishing, one of the oldest methods in the book. The victims were notified through email that their Google email accounts had been hacked. The email contained a link that led the victim to a page that looked just like the login page for Google. Inputting their login and password, the victims gave the fraudster access.
This kind of fraud is still quite widespread and gives criminals very simple access to your personal data and accounts.
9. Keep Your Phone From Depending On Public WiFi
Public WiFi networks are often a great convenience. Unfortunately, thieves can steal your information by using public WiFi’s inadequate security. It’s not a good idea to use some mobile applications over unprotected Wi-Fi, according to the FTC, since researchers have discovered that many of them don’t adequately encrypt information.
10. Make Sure you’re quickly Alerted
Nobody can totally protect themselves from identity theft or account takeover. Your information is likely to be hacked at some time in the future. You should guarantee prompt reporting of any breach to reduce the loss of time and money. Today, the majority of banks provide email and text message alerting systems. Set up alerts on your debit and credit cards to receive regular notifications of transactions. You will be alerted to a fraudulent charge as soon as it occurs with the proper notification settings.
Protection against Online Fraud
Defend your Workstations
- Protective software, antivirus, and malware updates for the operating system
- Use personal email and the Internet in moderation when using computers for online banking.
- Every so often, make a backup of your data on several servers to help protect yourself from ransom ware assaults.
Eliminate the Threat of Malware
- When downloading files, software, documents, or email attachments, proceed with caution.
- Precautions should be taken while downloading from pop-ups or advertising.
- As well as a firewall, think about utilising an anti-malware programme.
- Engage a cyber forensics company from the outside to conduct a thorough investigation if you think your cyber environment has been affected.
Protect your correspondence and sensitive information.
- Avoid sending sensitive information through email, but if you must, think about utilising encryption software
- Account numbers should only be used in correspondence with the last four digits.
Fraud Prevention Checklist
1. Maintain the accuracy of your contact details
2. Make sure your passwords are as strong as possible.
3. Enable push notifications on the Mobile Banking app.
4. Guard your technology.
5. Allow biometrics (fingerprint sign-on or facial recognition)
6. Recognize warning signs of con artists
7. Recognize who has access to the information on your account. 8. To ensure safe correspondence, send your advisor encrypted messages.