Today with the way technology is proceeding at a breakneck speed, we are all inundated with offers either via email, telephone or by on-line malware. This post talks about some tips to avoid being scammed. In today’s of technology overload, you are your own last line of defense against spam, phishing, malware, virus’s, and any web born aggrevation.
Hmm, do I sound like someone who has gone down this path?
To battle the scourge of being scammed or having your identity stolen, here are a couple of really good sites which help you follow up on this ageless motto:
“If it sounds too good to be true, it absolutely is”.
Some tips to avoid being scammed or having your identity stolen (my list of on-line NO-NO’s):
- Don’t open ANY emails that look suspicious (No you have not won $5M in the European Union’s lottery that you never entered)
- Don’t confirm any personal information via email – NO valid financial institution will ask you for your pin code to “confirm” your identity.
- Never ever give your credit card number to anyone on the phone, if you have any doubt of who the caller is. I encountered this when I kept on getting “restricted” calls from the Policemen’s fund raiser on my home phone. As soon as you ask for proof of identity or email confirmation, the phone line mysteriously goes dead….
- Make sure your Antivirus, hardware/software firewall, spyware blocker, anti-phishing (browser) addons for Firefox or IE are updated. If this sounds like I’m over-protected, I’m not. Even with all of the above, I’ve seen many of these villans attack my machines at home. So in order to protect yourself, you need to have a combinations. I’ve used both McAfee and Norton. These days I lean towards McAfee, only because, it’s provided free by most web providers (Comcast, Optimum, etc…). I’v also stopped using IE all together and only use Firefox on all my machines.
- Make sure you disable Pop-Ups (this is how how I caught the dreaded “Your machine has a virus, you need to purchase ….” virus). You can always enable or override with simple keystrokes.
- Do not accept any invitation/messages from anyone that you do not know on social networking sites. Yes that means me, a noted Facebook and LinkedIn fanatic.
- Do not accept an invitation : When you get an invite from someone that you have no clue to be your “friend” on your instant messager client (cindyfunxx38 is not your friend)
Overall, I can safely say: “If you encounter stangers bearing gifts, you can almost be assured that you will be given a gift that will last for a lifetime”.
If you know of any additional scambuster sites, leave me a comment.