When You Go Online

be sure your information remains secure

There are many different ways your personal information can be stolen electronically. Preventing fraud and identity theft online is possible. Just as you take precautions to protect yourself in the real world, you need to take precautions to protect yourself online. Use these tips to help create a secure environment.

Password Protection

Preventing identity theft online begins with having a secure password.

  • Never share your passwords or PINs with anyone.
  • Use complex passwords with a combination of numbers, symbols, and letters.
  • Change your passwords regularly, especially if you believe they have been compromised.
  • Never write down your passwords where they can easily be found.

E-Mail Security

Learn how to prevent identity theft online by using the latest techniques in E-mail security.

  • Don’t open email or attachments from senders you don’t recognize.
  • Beware of emails scams. Never respond to unsolicited email or click a link with a suspicious e-mail asking you to provide your account or personal information.
  • Limit the amount of personal information you share online and use privacy settings to avoid sharing information widely.
  • Never e-mail confidential information such as account numbers, driver's licenses, or social security numbers.

Online Security

If you are providing confidential information or shopping online, be sure the site is secure.

  • Look for a URL that begins with https:// and the closed padlock” ( ) in the right hand corner of your browser.
  • Always use the most up-to-date browser.
  • Always log off completely and close your browser when you are done with a secure session.
  • Make sure your computer is up-to-date with security patches for your operating system.
  • Never leave your computer unattended when using any online banking service.
  • Only access your personal financial information from a computer you “trust”.
  • Don’t reply to any e-mail or pop up message that requests you update.

Click to learn more about ways to avoid social engineering and phishing attacks (from the US-CERT website).

Where can you learn more?

Consumer Federation of America

National Consumers League

Federal Trade Commission
U.S. Postal Inspection Service
1-877-876-2455 (select option 4 for mail fraud)

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