Online security is one of those topics that never seems to go away. There are daily stories of servers getting hacked, identities being hijacked, credit card numbers being stolen, people being scammed, etc. — the list is never-ending.
Some people are of the opinion that if they completely avoid computers, they will somehow be protected. While this tactic will protect you from part of the security problems, what you may not realize is if you have bank accounts, credit cards or even a Social Security number, you are still at risk because your data is online with every one of the associated organizations.
Several years ago my Paypal account was hacked into. One Sunday afternoon I received a Paypal e-mail notification verifying I’d just issued a large payment — trouble was, I hadn’t made a payment. I was able to log in to my Paypal account, reverse the bogus transaction, and change my password. Turns out that thousands of Paypal account names and passwords were stolen from a Paypal server.
About three years ago I noticed some charges on a credit card statement that I hadn’t made. I immediately contacted my credit card provider and informed them of the bogus charges. They were able to remove the charges and immediately issued me a new card with a new card number.
What can you do to protect yourself from this type of fraud? Periodically log in to important online accounts and check things over. Look over credit card statements and make certain that you recognize any listed transactions.
Be cautious about clicking on e-mail links and NEVER double-click on e-mail file attachments, even if the e-mail appears to be coming from a friend. KNOW what the link is before you click on it. Generally speaking, if something appeals to your ego and/or appears too good to be true, it’s probably a scam. Don’t bite!
You can find me on Twitter.Com as “TruckerTom.” E-mail me with comments or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. I do a mostly-daily MP3 audio podcast located at www.TruckerTomPodcast.com where you can either listen online on your computer or download it to listen on a portable MP3 player. I produce an HD video podcast available at www.FindingAmericaHD.com.