Whenever possible try NOT to click on any links in email, especially since links are themselves are dangerous and phishing emails are difficult to spot. An ounce of paranoia is worth a pound of patches. If Iím unsure if an email is real, one thing I do is manually type the domain name into the web browser location bar. This way I know Iím on the real website. If Wells Fargo were to ask to verify my account information by ďclicking hereĒ, instead I type in wellsfargo.com then proceed to login. If Wells Fargo, or whatever the organization your doing business with, really wanted to verify the account information they would have asked at that point. Some email links are safer to click on than others. Like those sent in response to an action (account registration, password reset, order confirmation, etc) you might have performed on the website within the last several minutes.
4) Defend your Web Mail!
Hundred of millions of people use Web Mail, which in many ways email is more important to keep secure than your bank account. Many people have important online accounts tied to a single Web Mail address. If anyone gained access to your email account, all accounts associated to could be compromised as well. The best thing you can do is use unguessable passwords, change them ever six months or so, and donít use that password anywhere else. Bonus points for deleting emails with any sensitive information.
5) Use a single credit card for online purchases
In light of recent events, chances are the CC #ís we use online are going to be stolen at some point. For that reason itís best to try and limit any potential damage. Using a single credit card with just enough of a limit to conduct your online transactions makes it easier to monitor statements for any strange charges. Plus, any fraud is isolated to that one card. Also, refrain from using a debit card online since they donít carry the consumer legal protections as credit cards.
Normally this is the part where the experts start talking about SSL and tells you to check for the lock symbol. In my experience just about every legit website accepting credit cards is now SSL-enabled. So the better advice is to make sure your actually on the legit website you think you are on. Otherwise SSL isnít going to matter much anyway.
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