Practical Advice For Internet And IP Address Identity Theft Protection
Optimal Internet and IP address identity theft protection can be enjoyed using common-sense, practical steps and specialized software... with much of it free.
By applying these steps to guard privacy and personal information, we can avoid being another statistic in this fastest growing crime.
In this article, we'll be looking at and talking about being diligent about our behavior when we're online... the practical steps.
To hear about software protection that works in tandem with these steps, go to Software Protection For Internet And IP Address Identity Theft .
If you've read the article, Internet ID Theft Statistics, you'll have seen that there are three main ways for criminals to steal our identity online. These are via...
- Spam and Spyware
We'll now look at how our habits and some diligence can significantly boost our Internet and IP address identity theft protection for each of these areas...
1. Internet & IP Address Identity Theft Protection... Phishing And Pharming
As the advice for phishing and pharming is similar, we'll look at these two aspects of Internet and IP address identity theft protection together.
A quick reminder of what phishing and pharming are...
Phishing uses lures, such as a bogus email or pop-up warning, to get us to provide valuable personal information.
Pharming involves the pirating of an official Web site to redirect its traffic and sensitive information.
Here's how diligence in the following situations can save us from Internet and IP address identity theft... and future heartache and financial loss...
- Legitimate companies do not send email that asks for account information. So, the most powerful way to avoid being a phishing catch is to NOT follow links in e-mails.
- If we receive an email notifying us that there is a problem with one of our accounts and if we're really concerned there may be a problem, we should pick up the 'phone and call customer service.
If this isn't possible -- rather than clicking on a link in the email -- type the authentic URL of the site into the web browser. For Internet identity theft protection, don't cut and paste the URL from the email, as this may divert to a pharming or bogus web site!
- Do not respond to pop-ups or emails requesting personal information.
- Delete, without opening, emails claiming to be from a bank or financial site that we don't do business with -- many phishing emails contain spyware that can infect our PCs and steal our information.
- Do not email personal or financial information, as email can be read by anyone with the technical know-how. Faxing, posting or telephoning the information to the known individual or organization is more secure.
- Crackers can intercept our credit card numbers en route to an online store by running sniffer software on Web routers that act as traffic signals on the Internet. The sniffers can see all the bytes of information inside a packet and look for keywords such as 'password' and 'card number'. So, when disclosing personal and financial information, only use sites with Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol. This means that all information we enter is encrypted when transferred to the web site's servers.
SSL also enables the use of digital certificates to check a Web site's authenticity and a sign of Internet identity theft protection. In other words, if we are visiting "www.awebsite.com", our web browser checks the digital certificate to ensure the site is "www.awebsite.com". If it isn't, our browser will display a message stating the certificate doesn't match the address being visited.
How do we tell whether SSL is in operation?
Look for the secure connection "https://" in front of the site's location in the browser's address window, rather than the insecure "http://". This is also indicated by a yellow security lock icon at the bottom right corner of the browser page.
Generally, pharming sites impersonating legitimate sites will not use the "https://" protocol... but this is no guarantee of Internet identity theft safety!
Internet & IP Address Identity Theft Protection... More Information About Identity Theft