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Internet Security Tips

Whether you are banking, shopping or just keeping in touch with family and friends online, it is important to know how to keep your personal information safe and secure.

Here are some tips to avoid becoming a victim of internet scams.

Be suspicious of any e-mail with urgent requests for personal financial information.

Beware of emails pretending to be from a legitimate bank, retailer, organization or government agency. The sender will ask you to confirm your personal information. Do not give out this information or even open the email.

Never enter your personal information in a pop-up screen.

Sometimes a phisher will direct you to a real company website but then an unauthorized pop-up screen created by the scammer will appear.

Protect your computer.

Use spam filters, anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and a firewall, and keep them up to date.

Only open email attachments if you are expecting them and know what they contain.

Beware of phone scams as well.

You may get a call from someone pretending to be from a company, making false claims and asking for your personal information. To be on the safe side, ask for the person’s name, the name of the agency or company, the telephone number, and the address. Get the main number from the phone book, the Internet, or directory assistance, then call to see if the person is legitimate.

Only use secure websites for confidential transactions.

Only communicate information, such as credit card numbers, personal or account information via a secure site. When submitting financial information to a Web site, look for the padlock or key icon at the bottom of your browser, and make sure the Internet address begins with “https”.

Regularly log on to your online accounts and check your bank, credit and debit card statements to ensure that all transactions are legitimate.

Create strong passwords to ensure safety and security online.

A strong password has a good variety of characters. Use alpha and numeric and if permitted, use special characters. Do not use obvious words or numbers for your password, for example, an anniversary or birthday, the name of a pet or child.

Protect your passwords.

Record your passwords in a secure location away from your computer or mobile device. Do not share your passwords with anyone.

Use multiple passwords for your accounts and change them periodically.

Do not use the same passwords for all of your online accounts. If you use the same password for all of your accounts, someone who learns your password will have access to all of your accounts.

Periodically update your passwords, and if you feel that your information has been compromised, change your passwords right away.

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