Mistakes that can invite identity theft on the internet

The following are common mistakes people make that can invite identity theft when surfing internet. You can avoid them by following simple tips described under each mistake.

Assuming Your Security Software Is Protecting You
Renew the subscription when the software prompts you. Make sure your security software is active when you're online and that it has been updated within the past week or so.

Accessing an Account Through an Email Link
If an e-mail message asks you to update your password, account number, or other information, don't take the bait. Access an online account only by using your existing browser bookmark or typing in the institution's Web address.

Using a Single Password for All Online Accounts
Use variations on one password. A well-crafted password uses a combination of at least eight letters, numbers, or punctuation symbols.

Downloading Free Software
Download freeware only from reputable sites.

Clicking on a Pop-up Ad That Says Your PC Is Insecure
When closing a pop-up, carefully click on the X on the upper left or right corner, not within the window. To avoid pop-ups altogether, enable your browser's pop-up blocker or use a free add-on blocker.

Shopping Online the Same Way You Do in Stores
Use a separate credit card just for your Internet shopping. Don't use a debit card. Sites that display "https" before their address when you're entering sensitive information and those displaying certification symbols from TRUSTe and other organizations are usually safe, but there are no guarantees.

Source: consumerreports.org
Graphic: wwnytv.net

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