Protecting your online financial transactions

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Offline bamajim

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Protecting your online financial transactions
« on: February 16, 2010, 09:15:36 AM »
Protecting your online financial transactions

Here are some suggestions for protecting yourself when conducting online financial transactions (banking and buying). This list is not all inclusive. But the suggestions listed here are free and effective. A little common sense goes a long way.

1. Notice what is in the Address bar

Secure sites are indicated in your browser bar.
All browsers should include at least one of the following secure site indicators:

https:// & padlock

Notice the S in address https

You should never post credit card or bank account information on any site where https:// is not displayed.

2. Too many open windows

Before conducting online financial transactions, close all other open Internet Explorer windows and tabs. It's a bad habit to have a number of open windows or tabs when buying or banking online. Having too much going on at once could easily lead to clicking the wrong box, entering information in the wrong window, etc. It may even mask programs running behind the open windows.

Those who are too casual with financial transactions are easy prey for identity thieves.

3. Passwords and email

General rules for passwords

A. Don't use the same password for every application:
The password you use for financial transactions should be different than the one you use for Social Media.

B. Passwords should be difficult, but not so troublesome that you can't recall them and have to keep requesting your password from the provider.
Why is this a problem?
One of the first things hackers like to get into is your mailbox. Too many of us leave passwords stored in our mailbox in case we forget them.
Once you obtain and record your retreived password, delete it from your mailbox.

C. Don't have too many passwords. This can be cumbersome as well, and lead to many email retreivals.
Group your passwords. Have one for social media, one for forums and clubs, One for email accounts, etc. Be smart about it and decide what fits your needs.
Then use seperate passwords for each secure fincial site.
 No matter what, you should always have a seperate password for your bank account.

D. Never auto-save your password to any computer application or website. It's the lazy thing to do. But if your PC falls into the wrong hands, and your passwords are auto-saved, you have left the door open to all kinds of financial problems.

E. Change your passwords on a regular basis:

It is a good idea to change your passwords every 3 to 6 months. Especially financially sensative ones. Many companies  force their employees to change their passwords on a regular basis or be locked out of their business websites.

4. Public and friend's computers

Never conduct financial business on a friend's computer, or worse yet, a public computer:
You have no idea what kind of programs are on a computer that is not yours. Keylogger programs,websites set to auto-save passwords, etc.

5. Place limits on credit cards and paypal accounts

A. Use a seperate credit card for buying things online. Most financial  institutions will glady accomodate you. They realize if you loose, they loose as well.
Set a limit on the card that you can live with. That limit should be decided by your financial position, and use the 'worst case senario rule'. If you can only afford to loose say $500.00, then set the card limit @ $500.00. It is financial suicide to use a card online that has a 10 or  $20,000 limit.

B. Use the same rules for PayPal.

C. If odd or unknown charges appear on your credit card statement more than twice in different months (even if the issuing company resolves the transactions) call the credit card company have that account closed and ask them to re-issue you a new card with a new account number.
Mistakes maybe, but why take the chance.

6. Password protect your computer

You should always have a password on your computer, even a home desktop.
Many of us today store our financial records on our PC's. We should take steps to protect that information.
The same can be said for removable storage devices (USB keys, and Portable Hard Drives). Many of them come with built in security features, we need to use them.

7. Finally, Keep your PC virus free and well protected

surf safe

Rights cannot exist without morals