Saturday, April 2, 2011

Online Scams, the little we can do about it

In my last post “Online Scams how you get suckered and the little you can do about it?” I wrote on the difficulty in protecting oneself from online scams. The only way to reduce online scams is to make it uneconomical for cyber criminals, as cyber law has a long way to catch up.
There is no prescription to fool proof security but there certainly are a few steps that one can take to enhance our defenses. Security strategy works on two cardinal principals, the reduction of risk and window of exposure when compromised.
1.       Check out the story. Check the seller’s reputation
The best way is prevention. Before entering into an online transaction, undertake due diligence to ascertain the legitimacy of the party you are dealing with. Remember there is no refund as the scamsters is an illegitimate business far away in another country, and you do not want the hassle of even trying to recover the few hundred dollars you were conned for.
2.       Keep your desktop updated with the latest antivirus
Reduces your risk of downloaded malicious software remaining undetected for a long time and prevent downloads of known malware. If you do detect malware in a scan, it may be advisable to change your passwords.  In any case frequent change of passwords reduces your window of exposure.
3.       Review your financial and credit card statements for unknown expenses
Incorrect entries or suspicious transactions serve as a warning bell to reset your password and attempt to isolate the cause of your compromise. Run an antivirus scan to detect malware.
4.       Be aware of what details are asked for by legitimate sites
Be aware of what legitimate sites ask for by acquainting yourself with the sites procedure before entering into a transaction

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