THE SEVEN PRACTICES
personal or financial information.If you believethere may be a need for such information bya company with whom you have an accountor placed an order,contactthatcompanydirectly in a way you know to be genuine.Inany case,don'tsend your personal informationvia email because email is nota securetransmission method.
If you are shopping online,don’tprovide yourpersonal or financial information through acompany’s website until you have checked forindicators thatthe site is secure,like a lock iconon the browser’s status bar or a website URLthatbegins “https:”(the “s”stands for “secure”).Unfortunately,no indicator is foolproof;somescammers have forged security icons.
tunderstand it—considerdoing business elsewhere.
is a person who uses theInternetto access computers withoutpermission.A
is someone whosends mass amounts of unsolicitedcommercial email.A
is softwarethatspreads from computer to computerand damages files or disrupts your system.
WORDS FOR THE WISE
Why? To an identity thief,your personal informationcan provide instantaccess to your financialaccounts,your creditrecord,and other assets.If you think no one would be interested in yourpersonal information,think again.The reality isthatanyone can be a victim of identity theft.Infact,according to a Federal Trade Commission (FTC)survey,there are almost10 million victims a year.It’s often difficultto know how thievesobtained their victims’personal information,and while itdefinitely can happen offline,somecases startwhen online data is stolen.Visit
to learn whattodo if your identity is stolen.Unfortunately,when itcomes to crimes likeidentity theft,you can’tentirely control whether you will become a victim.Butfollowing these tipscan help minimize your risk while you’re online:
If you’re asked for your personal information— your name,email or home address,phonenumber,accountnumbers,or Social Securitynumber—find outhow it’s going to be usedand how itwill be protected before you shareit.If you have children,teach them to
giveoutyour lastname,your home address,or yourphone number on the Internet.
If you getan email or pop-up message askingfor personal information,don’treply or click onthe link in the message.The safestcourse of action is notto respond to requests for your