There are numerous precautions Internet users should take when conducting business online.
Create hard-to-guess passwords, and change them frequently (at least every 90 days). It is preferable to create an alpha-numeric combination of at least 8 characters. Do not use anything obvious for the password, such as all or part of your user name, legal name, e-mail address, or the names of your spouse or children. Use a different password for each of your online accounts at different websites.
Spoofing or Phishing:
In general, here is how a spoofing or phishing works: In an attempt to steal someone's private information, an Internet criminal will send out an email telling people to update their account information. The email appears to come from the underlying company, and will have links that lead to an imitation website that looks very similar to the underlying company's. Do not fall for this scam. Do not click on any links in the email. If you ever need to update your account information, always visit the underlying company's official secure website login page. For Trading Direct, always log in from our secure site: https://www4.netxselect.com/tradingdirect.htm. In order to try to help Internet users notice spoof sites, today's browsers now help user's identify spoof site. In you are using an old browser, be sure to update to the most recent version of Microsoft Internet Explorer (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/), Mozilla Firefox (http://www.mozilla.com), or another browser you may be using.
Monitor your accounts regularly:
In today's day and age, clients can be notified of any transactions/changes to their accounts either electronically and or via the mail. Check your email regularly. Review your monthly statements. Be sure to keep your contact information (email address, postal address, and telephone number) up-to-date if the need arises for the underlying company to contact you. If you ever notice something that does not look right, contact the respective company immediately. The sooner you call, the more likely the problem can be resolved amicably.
You may use your computer to conduct research or for entertainment, as well as business purposes. Even the most savvy computer user may inadvertently download a virus to their computer. Maybe you downloaded an email file which was contained a virus, or visited website and inadvertently download a virus, malware, or spyware. Either way, it is recommended that every Internet computer user install a comprehensive anti-virus / security software program. The purpose this software is not just to help protect your computer, but to help protect your identity as well. Preferably you will want to choose a software program that automatically and periodically updates and scans your PC for problems. Depending on your needs, you may choose to look for a program that performs some or all of these functions:
Securing your identity. Guard your identity from fraud and identity theft.
Safe Internet searching to help you avoid online dangers.
Online filtering for children. Block offensive content, pictures, and websites.
Thwarting viruses. Block viruses before they get to your PC, and remove existing ones.
Thwarting hackers. Protect and conceal your computer/online connection from hackers.
Blocking spyware/malware. Block spyware before it gets on your computer, and remove any existing.
Filter spam & avoid email scams. Block junk and scam emails.
Backs up & restores files. Automated periodic back-up/restoration of important files.
Enhancing PC performance. Maintain the folders/files on your computer for optimal & safe performance.
Monitors home network. Protect your network for any security weakness, yet be able to easily share files and printers.
Automatically downloads the latest software updates to protect PC(s).
Without getting overly technical, the purpose of a Firewall to help prevent unauthorized access to your computer. If you access secure websites and or confidential information via the Internet, it is a good idea to do so behind the protection of a firewall. If your office does not have a firewall setup, please contact your Network Administrator to recommend one. When accessing the Internet via your home computer, it is likely through the use of an Internet server provider (ISP). Examples companies are AOL, Optimum Online, Road Runner, Verizon DSL, etc. If you have the option of setting up a firewall through your online service provider, you should consider doing so. If your ISP does not provide for a firewall, you may consider buying one of these devices through an office supply or electronics store.