The financial and emotional effects of fraudulent charges to your personal or corporate accounts can be catastrophic. Even if you manage to retrieve the money in the end, being the victim of theft may be stressful and time-consuming. Most of us are familiar with the basics of fraud protection. Keep your social security number and other personal information as secure as you can to avoid identity theft. Before throwing away credit card statements and other similar documents, shred them. Use secure websites only to make purchases and share financial information. Use only cards with chip technology.
What else can we do to safeguard both our companies and us? Here is some little-known but sage advice that you can use in both your personal and professional life:
Find out what additional protections your bank offers by getting in touch with them. A SMS message may be sent to you by some banks when transactions take place. You can receive push notifications from certain banks’ apps whenever a new transaction occurs.
Avoid saving your credit card when purchasing something online. Your credit card information could potentially be exposed on every website that stores your credit card.
Never use the same password again for the same online account. Particularly relevant are websites that hold any of your financial information. Fraud experts have found out a way to take advantage of the fact that many people use the same password for almost every site, or for all sites associated with their business.
When shopping online for products for your house or business, be aware of the warning flags to avoid. Look for two signs that will tell you that your shopping session is secure, and your data is encrypted: a padlock icon at the top of your browser window and “https” before the website address.
Do not simply press “call back” on your phone when one of your credit card firms leaves you a voicemail or emails asking you to call them back. Always call the number on the back of the credit card that the call is allegedly about to be safe.
Examine your internet privacy frequently. Make it a practice to routinely check the privacy settings on your web browser and social media accounts to make sure you are satisfied with them. Apply this on both your personal and work laptops. Remember that some social media platforms, such as Facebook, may make changes to their privacy policies without notifying you first, forcing you to make adjustments. For this reason, it’s a good idea to check in occasionally. Frequently delete the cache on your browser to prevent anyone from viewing confidential information.
No matter how fair the request may appear given the circumstances, do not provide the information if a website asks for your credit card information “for identification purposes only” and you are not making a transaction. Apart from completing a transaction, there is just never a good reason to divulge such information.
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