The internet has provided criminals with a new way to steal personal information. They are constantly looking for new ways to steal and fraudulently use your name, address, bank account details and social security numbers.
Most people use the same password for multiple accounts because its simple to remember. However this can pose a security risk, because once they have discovered your password they can gain access to all of your accounts. Different passwords for different accounts, helps to instantly isolate the problem.
You should never be asked for you social security number online.
You should always be aware of emails that look legitimate, but are actually fraudulent and only steal to steal your personal information. You should especially be suspicious if an email leads you to a website asking for details that they should already have.
Cyber criminals are constantly trying to steal your personal information by infecting your computer with viruses, spyware, Trojans and other forms of malicious software. Using internet security software will help prevent them from doing so.
Email is not a secure form of communication, therefore you should never send bank details.
You should always a secure server when entering your credit card details into a website. You can tell if a website is secure by looking for a lock icon which will appear in the status bar of your internet browser.
If you do fall victim to online identity theft you should contact the police immediately. Although you may feel embarrassed, don't wait or ignore the problem - act instantly.
Websites and emails that are riddle with spelling mistakes are highly likely to be the work of cyber criminals. No established company will send you information that contains grammatical errors. Cyber criminals often work in foreign countries and have poor English literacy skills.