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When Ben Franklin famously wrote, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” I’m pretty sure he wasn’t warning his readers about the perils of cyber crime. But in today’s world of phishing, shoulder-surfing and computer spyware, his advice hits home.
It’s a sad reality that some people will rip you off if you give them an opportunity. Just as you take safety precautions when handling cash, so should you be vigilant when using credit or debit payment cards for purchases, whether the transaction is in person on online.
Here are tips for protecting your account information and avoiding payment card scams:
•Prevent online intrusions: Use updated anti-virus and anti-spyware software, only download information from trusted sites and don’t click pop-up windows or suspicious links in emails. These can all be tricks to install spyware, which can record your keystrokes to obtain account or other confidential information.
•Use secure Web sites: When purchasing items online, look for safety symbols such as the padlock icon in the browser’s status bar, an “s” after “http” in the URL, or the words “Secure Sockets Layer” (SSL). These are signs that the merchant is using a secure page for transmitting personal information.
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