May 11, 2012

Keeping Your Identity Safe

A week ago I attended a seminar given by a former FBI agent who talked about keeping your identity safe and how to avoid becoming a victim on the internet.  Most of what he talked about I already knew, but it was refreshing to hear it again in a new way.  The most important element in maintaining safety is to use common sense.  If you see anything that looks suspicious, do not trust it.  It may be something legitimate, but it also may be someone trying to get information in order to cause you harm.  One very helpful hint is that if you get an email or have someone post to your Facebook wall and it has a questionable link, copy the first several words of the email or the post and perform a search in Google or Yahoo for that expression.  You may find that that expression has been used before for fraud, your suspicion was correct, and you should delete the entry.  Even if you get an email from a friend, if it does not look right, be suspicious.  I had a friend tell me he had received some suspicious looking emails from me.  Someone had managed to hack into my personal email account and send out spam to my contacts.  I knew for sure that had happened when I received an email in my business account from my personal account and I had not sent it.  I changed my personal account password and have had no problem since.  So when you are doing something on the internet or with email, be very careful.  Over the next few weeks I will include more tips on computer security.

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