Fraud can be frightening. There are those who lurk in the shadows online who want nothing more than to take advantage of your account information and identity. To help you from getting tricked into fraud, here are some practical tips to help you stay a step ahead.

Never Give Personal Info To Unknown Callers.
It may seem commonplace these days to have an unknown number call your phone, but you should be cautious when dealing with representatives over the phone. Never give personal information to unknown callers. If someone calls you asking for money or personal information, hang up. If you think the caller might be telling the truth, call back using a number you know is legitimate.

 

Create Strong Passwords
One of the best ways to protect yourself online is by creating strong passwords. The longer the password, the harder it may be to crack. Try for a minimum of 10 characters using a mix of numbers, letters and special characters and avoid using the same password for more than one account.

 

Be Cautious of Phishing Attempts
Phishing may seem new, but it’s as old as the internet. Phishing is the fraudulent attempt to obtain information and data, such as usernames, passwords and personal account numbers. These attempts could look like they’re from a bank, a credit card company, or even a social media site. If you receive an email that looks a little questionable, don’t click on links in the email. The same goes for websites. Be careful before clicking on links that look out of the ordinary. Otherwise, you could inadvertently download malware or be asked to provide information that could be used for fraud.

 

Don’t Use Public WiFi For Banking
If you’re out in the world and are about to sign into your mobile banking app or favorite social media site, hold off until you’re sure you’re not using public WiFi. Look at your device settings and check to make sure your network is secure. It’s always best to use known, password-protected networks when possible, especially when you’re doing your banking.

 

Avoid Using Untrusted Websites
Before shopping online or accessing a password protected website, make sure the website uses secure technology. When you are at the login screen, make sure the web address begins with “https.” Also, check to see if a tiny locked padlock symbol appears on the left-hand side of the web browser.

By following these quick tips, you can reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of fraud.