Saturday, December 15, 2012

How to securely browse the internet? How to ensure my online transaction is secure

In this world of fast-pace technology especially on the internet, it is giving us convenience, comfort, speed, and flexibility. Also, the internet is full of scams, frauds, and online criminals waiting for their next victim and preying on the new and unaware. I was once a victim of online fraud myself. They took advantage of my little knowledge and lost a lot of money. This hub is for everyone who uses the internet for their banking, shopping, and other online financial transactions. These warnings are intended for your safety and security online. Be very careful online!!!

Although browsers have some form of built-in security features, we should not take these for granted and be always aware of evil-doers on the web. Readers of this page should include their comments and suggestions so that they will serve as wisdom and knowledge for online users who conduct internet transactions. Although this list is by no means complete, it is here to serve as warning and foreknowledge. It is for your safety, security, and privacy online.

Below are some ways on How to securely browse the internet and How to ensure your online transaction is secure:

* Check the domain being highlighted when visiting websites.
When you visit a website, look at the address bar and notice the bold letters (highlighted) to make sure you are not tricked by phishing sites with deceptive addresses.

* Turn On SmartScreen Filter.
SmartScreen Filter helps detect phishing websites. It protects you from installing malicious software, or programs that contain virus, spyware, malware, trojan and other computer problems.
a. In Internet Explorer, click the Safety button -> SmartScreen Filter -> Turn On SmartScreen Filter.
b. Click OK.

a1. In Mozilla Firefox, click Tools -> Add-ons -> Get Add-ons
b1. Search for FoxFilter
c1. Install and enable FoxFilter

* Remove or Disable untrusted Add-ons (ActiveX controls), browser extensions, browser helper objects, and toolbars.
Click here to learn how to remove or disable browser add-ons or extensions

*  Enable Cross site scripting (XSS) filter.
XSS filter helps prevent one website from adding a script code to other websites. This malicious code is intended to capture your login information such as account numbers, passwords, and other personal information. This kind of script are commonly employed by phishing sites to steal your bank and other financial information. They want to know exactly what letters or words you are entering from your keyboard. Cross site scripting is turned on by default. To enable it:
a. In the Internet Explorer browser, click on Tools -> Internet Options -> Security -> Internet zone.
b. Click on the Custom level button.
c. Scroll down to the Enable XSS Filter.
d. Select Enable.
e. Click on OK.

a1. In Mozilla Firefox, download, install, and enable the Firefox NoScript add-on or extension.
b1. You can then choose to allow scripts to run or disallow them on the same page.

* Make sure you have a secure connection when you do online banking, online shopping and other online credit card transactions.
Browsers use a 128-bit secure (SSL) connection. A secure connection uses encryption. An encryption is a method in which plain text is converted to a text that is not easily understood. It could be converted to a string of numbers, letters, etc. to prevent eavesdropping by unauthorized people. When you enter information to the website, it is encrypted at your computer so that it is secure to send and then decrypted at the website.  How do I know if an online transaction is secure?:
a. In Internet Explorer, you will see a lock icon (padlock in orange color) located on the right side of the Address bar.
b. For example, if you go to, you will see in your address bar, and the address bar will be colored green. On the right side, you will see the lock icon, and if you click on the padlock, you will see a message saying "VeriSign has identified this site as: Paypal, Inc., San Jose, California, US.  This connection to the server is encrypted". You can also click on "View certificates" and you will see the certificate information saying "Issued to:; Issued by: VeriSign Class 3 Extended Validation SSL CA; Valid from and to dates."

* Protect your privacy when you are online.
Click here to learn how to enable private browsing.

* Use only proven, trusted and trustworthy websites that you know and trust.

* Don't trust a website when:
a. it is from your email and you don't know the sender (Do NOT click on the link!). Banks don't use email to update or ask for your information.
b. it offers cash, rewards, or saying you won money or lottery and prompts you to claim it.
c. it sounds too good to be true (Use common sense!!! Don't easily believe!).
d. it asks for your personal information such as phone number, credit card number, bank account number, password, birthday,  and other sensitive personal data.
e. it asks you to update your personal information by clicking on an email link. (Be careful of clicking email links)
f. it is a Paid to Click (ptc) site. They offer to sell referrals which are bots (programs) to fool you to believe you are making money, so you will keep buying fake referrals. They may pay you but in the long run, you will NEVER recover what you gave to them. Why would they give if they have not taken first?
g. it is a Get-Rich-Quick scheme.
h. it is a Pyramid sheme.
i. it is a Ponzi scheme.
j. it is a Multi-level marketing (MLM) strategy.
k. it is a High-Yield Investment Program (HYIP) in which it promises an unreasonably high return on your investment. They pay investors from the money which came from new investors).

* If you become a victim of online fraud, phishing, or scam:
- report it to the local police immediately
- contact your bank by phone or go to the nearest branch and report the problem
- change the passwords, PINs of all your online accounts
- close accounts that were unauthorizedly accessed
- place a fraud alert so that other people are warned and not fall into the same trap

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