Your computer holds a lot of information about you and is the first line of defense when it comes to preventing online fraud. There are some very simple steps you can take to protect yourself that require little to no work to maintain once set up.
- Anti-virus and anti-spyware software - Install anti-virus and anti-spyware security software from a well-known company and keep it up to date. Set it to automatically install updates. A couple of examples of anti-virus and anti-spyware software companies are Symantec (Norton) and McAfee.
- Firewall - While connected to the Internet, use a firewall to protect your computer from unauthorized access. Set it up to block unsolicited requests for outgoing communications and to update automatically. There are a variety of options, so be sure to do a little research to find out what type of firewall is best for you and your situation.
- Security Patches - Regularly install security patches on your operating system or it can be left vulnerable to the newest attacks. You can set it to automatically update for both Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X.
- Online banking activities and viewing or downloading documents (statements, etc.) should be conducted in a private setting where others cannot view your screen.
- Avoid using public or other shared computers to access your financial accounts online, and be extra careful when using your own computer in a wireless "hot spot."
- Turn your computer off completely when you are finished using it - don't leave it in sleep mode. If you need to leave it on, be sure to log completely off when you are not at the computer.
If you suspect your computer has been compromised, you should immediately stop doing anything online that involves sensitive personal information (e.g. shopping, online banking). Update your anti-virus and anti-malware software and install security patches. Run a scan and delete anything identified as an issue by your security software. Even after you are certain there is no longer an issue, be sure to monitor your accounts and change your online passwords.
Report online fraud to the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.gov and if you suspect your account has been compromised report it immediately to Rabobank.