Everyone should consider establishing accounts at major, official websites before a scammer does it for you. This includes your smartphone company, your Internet service provider, your banks, your credit card companies, your investments’ provider, the IRS, the US Postal Service, Medicare and Social Security. ,.
When shopping online, access only trusted, known “stores”. If unsure or the store is new, go to the Better Business Bureau’s website (www.bbb.org ) and check its credentials. A good approach is to read a few online reviews before buying – especially the negative ones. Seals of approval should be IGNORED – they are easily faked by fraudsters.
It is up to you to follow the previous guidance on the browser address bar clues to discern legitimate websites. However, even if the clues indicate valid ownership, the identity verification just means that website belongs to the company that claims it. It may not mean that the company itself or its software is trustworthy. When in doubt, skip it.
When web browsing, never install browser updates (or really any update) that appear as alerts stating you need to do so. Instead, only install them when directly offered by the browser’s auto-update feature or when downloading directly from the browser developer’s web site (e.g. www.google.com for Chrome).
Always use a credit card when shopping online – never a debit card. With a credit card, Federal law limits your credit card liability to $50 if a scammer fraudulently uses it. Debit cards don’t have a similar protection, although some banks will cover misuse.
FOR FURTHER READING:
CyberGuardian: a SecureTheVillage Guide for Residents is available on Amazon.
A complete Security Checklist is available: https://www.nerdsiview.com/security-checklist-2/
References for Village Residents are available at SECURE THE VILLAGE: https://securethevillage.org/residents
© Alan Steven Krantz 2021