Advanced technology has proven that we can make things much easier and make daily activities more convenient. But it is not all good for innovations; it has its disadvantages, too. Like for example, more and more people are turning to online billing and making online transactions to reduce their cost. Banks encourage their customers to “go-green” to save up on paper and labor on keeping them on files like before. But, what they did not anticipate is the evolving problem of identity theft and fraud because people are able to easily access information online.
I have an online account. How can I make sure that my information will not be taken?
Always monitor your online account and make sure that there are no suspicious activities. Whenever you access the internet, make sure that you are in a secure location where only you can see the information that you log in. A good tip is to familiarize your self with the different types of internet browsers. This way you would know how to permanently delete information you just typed in. Sometimes, with the way internet browsers are set up, it leaves the information behind like the way “remember username and password” works. So, get yourself educated so you can add additional protection to your account and personal information.
I get several emails requesting for information for “important purposes”. What should I do?
Sometimes, lenders will send you an email to update your information. It will prompt you to click on a certain website address or simply respond with the information that they need. You should be careful about this since it can be a way to get you personal information. These emails are very realistic that sometimes it even includes business names and logos. For you to be sure that they are the ones requesting for it, it would be best to call the company and ask.
Someone called me and said they are from my credit card company. They asked me to provide my credit card number for validation purposes. Should I comply?
Be very careful about phone calls, too. Thieves can be very intelligent in retrieving what they want. They can be very convincing. So, the best way is to decline because most validation processes involve demographic information such as date of birth and the last four digits of your social security number and perhaps an address or a phone number. Ask the nature of the call and personally call the company if you are having doubts.