Links & Useful info

Ways to Avoid Identity Thieves

Guard your information, online and offline

  • While news headlines make identity theft seem like it's mainly an online issue, you should recognise that there are also very real offline dangers.
  • Rubbish doesn't always end up in the dump. A recent study conducted by Javelin Strategy & Research suggests that you are in greater danger from identity thieves rummaging for important papers in your trash or breaking into your mailbox than from online theft so buy yourself a shredder we use a Fellows PS-67Cs this is a cross cut shredder and is suitable for most small offices, this or a similar product can be purchased at office works and for data security please ensure all old hard drives are returned to the workshop for secure drive destruction 
  • Stolen wallets can become stolen identities. The Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft Survey Report estimates that 14% of identity theft is a result of stolen wallets, checkbooks, and credit cards.
  • Offline precautions. To protect yourself, consider shredding documents containing your personal information, such as account statements, locking your mailbox, and emptying your wallet of anything you don't absolutely have to carry.

Don’t respond to email or phone calls asking for your account information

  • Phishing emails. Phishing (fake) emails are made to look like they’re from legitimate companies but are actually from identity thieves. These emails warn you of account problems or other urgent issues in order to trick you into clicking through to a spoof website or calling a fake customer service number.
  • Spoof websites. A fake website is meant to mimic a website from a well-known company. It will ask you to enter your user name and password or other account information. Once you do this, you've given your information to someone who might use it to do you harm.
  • Genuine emails will never ask for your password or financial information. You should only share information about your account once you’ve logged in to your providers system directly from your browser.
  • Phone Calls. Beware of unsolicited phone calls claiming to be from customer service centers and requesting that you provide sensitive personal information. You should hang up and call the number on the company’s website.

Pay safely

  • People have become smarter about sharing their banking information but often don't think twice about sharing other sorts of sensitive information during transactions.
  • Checks. When paying with a check, you're handing a piece of paper with your bank name, account number, address, and signature to a stranger. Industry analysts report that check fraud is a significant problem.
  • Online payment systems. When using online payment systems like PayPal, you get a secure way to complete a transaction so you can pay without the merchant ever seeing your credit card or bank account number. This significantly limits the information that you share in a financial transaction.

Protect your computer

  • Software protection. The key to securing your own computer is to use protective software and keep it up to date. Make sure that you install security patches available from the developer of your operating system. Run antivirus software to check incoming emails and update virus definitions frequently. Set up a firewall to prevent intruders from getting into your network or computer.
  • Password protection. Always choose strong passwords to protect accounts. Mix upper and lowercase letters. Use symbol characters. Create unique passwords for each one of your accounts.

Stay alert

    • Act Quickly. The longer a breach goes undiscovered, the more costly it becomes. According to authorities, your chances of suffering significant financial damage from identity theft are significantly lower if you discover the breach within six months of its occurrence. After six months, you are more likely to lose money or spend hours untangling a truly difficult situation.
    • Monitor your accounts frequently and check credit card activity and balances often to look for suspicious activity.

Links

Web Browsers

Firefox
Opera
Internet Explorer
Safari
Google Chrome

 

Email Programs

Yahoo Mail
GMail
Hotmail
Mobile Me
Thunderbird

Eudora
Opera Email

Social Networking

Twitter
Facebook
LinkedIN
YouTube

 

Computer Hardware Companies

Intel
Apple
Toshiba
HP
Samsung
IBM
Lenovo 

 Browser Tools

Shockwave player
Real Player

Acrobat Reader
 

 Protect your system

PC Tools Firewall Plus A free firewall for your system
AVG. A free anti-virus program.
Windows Defender. Microsoft's spyware checker

 Anti Virus Resources

Trend Micro Online virus scan tool
Virus Bulletin. Rating the top virus scanners.
Symantec Anti-virus Research Labs
 

 Spyware Removers

SpywareInfo Online spyware scan
AVG Free spyware
Spybot: Search and Destroy

 Email Etiquette

Email etiquette rules
What Your Sign-off is Really Saying
The virtual assistant

 

 Urban Myths and Virus Hoaxes

Snopes: The Urban Legends Reference
The Virus Myths Page
About's Urban Legends and Folklore

Spam Protection

SpamPal. A free spam cleaner.
Mailwasher. Catch the spam before it gets to you.
How to avoid spam.

 

 Cleanup Tools

CleanUp! A quick and easy Windows cleaner
CCleaner: Comprehensive cleanup for Windows
Maintenance: Apple OSX cleaning tool

Family Internet advice sites

Net Alert Federal government safe site
Kidsmart Project

 

Kids Search Engines

Kids Net
Ask for Kids
Yahooligans!

Homework Sites

The Awesome Library
BBC Schools
Cybersleuth
 

Educational Sites

Matheletics. Inspiring better results
The Australian Museum

National Geographic

Kids Help Lines

Kids Help Line
Bullying No Way

Reach Out
 

Search Engines

Google
Yahoo
Alta Vista

Legal Music Sites

Bigpond Music
iTunes

 

Business Tools

Cute PDF writer. A free PDF creating tool
Whats in a name. Check the cost of a domain
Synctoy. Synchronise your laptop and desktop computers.

Office Replacements

Open Office
602 Office
Google Apps

 

 Protect yourself

ACCC Consumer Protection
Identity Fraud Awareness Week

Auscert: Australian Computer Emergency Response Team

Voice Over IP

Skype
Voipbuster
Freshtel

 

Computer Education

Sydney Community College
Centre for Continuing Education
Sydney WEA

 Technology recycling

Recycling Near You
Mobile Muster. Phone recycling program.
Byte Back Australia. Byteback Australia

 

 Small Business Links

Smart Company
Flying Solo. Flying Solo
Small Enterprise Telecommunications

Online shopping tips

Internet shopping tips. NSW Department of Fair Trading
Ebay Security Centre.

 

Software Download Sites

Planet Mirror
Download.com
TUCOWS

 
 

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