These days it can be almost impossible to avoid some kind of unexpected debt, such as when a phishing expedition somehow fools you into opening up your credit card to criminals. But you don’t have to be one of those folks who are afraid to open emails or even look at new websites. You can cruise the web with confidence and know that your debt load won’t get an unexpected hit, if you use a bit of common sense.
Most of these scams can be detected before you fall for them. It takes a bit of caution, a dash of taking your time to answer any unsolicited emails and some guidelines from VISA, one of the most trusted sources for credit today. Here is what they had to say about keeping those scamming fraudsters from creating unexpected debt on your accounts.
How to Detect Phishing
This is the most common form of online fraud, and one you can avoid if you take these steps. It begins by never opening up emails from someone you don’t know. But in addition, if you get an unexpected email from someone you know but haven’t heard from in a long time, open a new window and email them directly about it.
Some criminals have found ways to get into our email address books online and will send out phishing emails this way. Always take the time to think about opening any emails that are unexpected.
Staying Secure Online
If you love to shop online, then one step you need to make is to always check that new website out to be sure it is legitimate. If you want to be sure that you are making secure payments online on this site, then watch for the little padlock at the beginning of their URL address.
This tells you that their online transactions are all encrypted and do not go through multiple gateways. This is the most secure way to accept payments online and any reputable website that takes payments online should have it.
Keeping Secure While Travelling
This can be a simple trip to your local coffee shop as well as when you are vacationing or doing business in some foreign country. When you use your smartphone in a public place such as a coffee shop, do not do any kind of financial transactions on a public Wi-Fi network.
The person next to you could be hacking your signal and steal that login information. Keep the coffeehouse chat to social media and sending texts to friends to come join you. This is especially true if you are travelling and are in a place known to host tourists as it is then a magnet for this type of criminal. Better safe then sorry.
In addition, don’t forget that anything you carry with you, tablet, laptop or smartphone, should be password protected as a lock down precaution. It will discourage theft, and maybe even save you from a hack job that can be hard to recover from later.
At home or abroad, while bopping around town or even if you are just sitting quietly at a local coffee shop. If you are on the net, it pays to pay attention. Follow these basics to prevent that next hacker attack from including your network.