How To Avoid Online Fraud

As the years progress we are seeing more of a trend towards online fraudulent activity. In 2015, there was an average total of 3,083,379 fraudulent cases (within the U.S). One of the more noticeable cases involved Anthem Insurance and Premera Blue Cross. In this instance, 79 million and 11 million customers had their private information stolen. Another surprising attack, in 2015, left the U.S Internal Revenue Service breached. These cases show an increasing risk within the realm of online information protection. An increase of 1 million cases surmounted the already staggering fraudulent cases in 2015.  As cyber crime increases so do the ability to gain insurance for the potential threat. 2016 is yet another example of why online insurance is an important investment.

Besides obtaining insurance for your information online you can take preventative measures such as not giving out your social security number or conducting a money transfer to strangers. Phishing is yet another tactic used by online fraudsters. This includes a more elaborate way to gain your private info by sending emails and personal messages or calls posing as banks or other reputable businesses. Typos and poor grammar included in online sites and applications can also be a red flag. When interacting with people online it is best practice to cross-reference someone you are unfamiliar with. Many times people that are trying to scam you are nowhere to be found anywhere else online. Education and due diligence of any site you engage in filling out forms with your personal information will also be a good idea. Also, always remember if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. So stay away from any website, unsolicited email or application offering anything that seems too good to be true.

There are many resources online to protect you from online fraudulent scams and criminals. By placing a firewall on your computer you can better protect against malware that can gain information from your computer. If you receive a suspicious email that has hyperlinks, do not click on the hyperlinks. These links can be malicious software designed to upload malware on your computer. By utilizing strong passwords on your accounts (at least 8 characters in length) will stop potential hackers from accessing your information as well. tHere are companies out there that create pop-up windows displaying an error message indicating that you have malware on your computer and that they have the software to help clean it up. By clicking on their link their malware is installed. This propels them to gain your private information. Unfortunately, this software is very difficult to erase (let alone find). Avoiding unsolicited “help” will ensure a safe and healthy computer. Keeping your OS software updated will also help in guarding against potential threats. By educating yourself more on how to protect yourself you can better enjoy a hassle free internet experience.