Online Fraud Prevention

We all know how scary identity theft is.  People stealing your account information, taking over your FaceBook page, stealing your private information. . . .  It’s a constant threat.


Today I’m sharing a fraud prevention checklist.  It’s all the things we know we should do. A reminder that it’s up to us to protect ourselves and our families.  Many of the ideas on the checklist were from my bank, Bank of America. Nope I’m not saying they are any better than your bank. They are just the bank I know.  I hope you find the checklist helpful.


Google Docs Download Fraud Prevention


First, make sure your information such as email address and cell phone number are up to date in your banking and other important accounts. Review and respond to fraud alerts promptly. If you use mobile banking apps, allow push alerts from the bank. Carry only necessary ID with you and do NOT carry your social security card.





Hands, Ipad, Tablet, Technology, Digital Tablet, Touch





One way we all try to protect our electronic devices is the use of comprehensive malware and anti-viral software.  I’m not promoting any particular brand, but I use AVG.  Computer viruses are malicious programs that infect and corrupt your programs and files, disrupt your computer’s performance, and just generally wreak havoc on their electronic host. But what distinguishes viruses from other forms of malware is their ability to replicate.

Only download software from a trusted source.  Do not open attachments in emails from unknown sources.  Avoid clicking on links from unknown sources in text messages, web pages, and emails. Keep your operating software up to date with automatic updates.  The reason they update software is to fix weak or vulnerable aspects of the program.  If you delay updating, you increase the chance of malware infection.


Whether you love your smart phone, or barely tolerate it, you’ll definitely want to keep it safe from viruses and malware.  AVG has a great post on How to Find & Remove Viruses on Android & iPhones. I learned a lot from the article.   So far, it seems, virus infection has not hit smartphones, but the bad guys are always working to get us.  From the article, it seems it is harder to infect iPhones than androids. They explain way.  Read up and keep informed. Use a strong software protection against malware.  Learn the 7 signs that your phone is infected and what you can do to remove the malware. Have a sign-on password. Use multi-factor authentication or biometrics like a fingerprint if available on your smart phone.




Office, Business, Accountant, Accounting, Notebook




Another of the main ways to protect yourself online is the use of really strong passwords. Use strong passwords and use different ones for each account. I know it’s a pain but if someone hacks your password, you don’t want them to use it on every account. Enable multi-factor authentication when available. When I first opened an email account back in 1998, I used an easy to remember name for the password. I used it all over the web.  Well, a year and a half later, someone hacked that Yahoo email account, emptied my contacts, and sent everyone I know a fraudulent email.  I apologized and tried to reinvent my contacts from all the trash and sent emails in folders. Sigh.  Not a fun time.





Coffee, Pen, Notebook, Open Notebook, Empty Notebook






When you’re hacked anywhere, your information is bundled with others and sold multiple times. Ever wonder where all the garbage emails come from?  Even when you’re not hacked, any place you have an account even charities may sell your email address for $.  Last year I got rid of 2 old email accounts and opened a new one for personal friends. I sent everyone an email explaining why from my old address and asked them to hit reply. I then forwarded that reply to my new email and added them to contacts. I then replied from the new address saying we’re complete. An old friend of 30 something years sent me an email saying she wasn’t changing my email yet as I’d probably change my mind. I replied this is the last email you’ll get from me then.  We talk on the phone and post to each other on FaceBook. I doubt she changed the email address. Some people are stubborn, but the old email address was compromised. It’s hard work to change numerous accounts but sometimes it must be done.


I quit trying to remember passwords some years ago. I can’t do it. My pages of passwords is now up to 3. Some folks like my sister save their passwords in their browser. I don’t. Remember I have been hacked once.  If you get a malware virus on your computer, they can then get ALL your passwords from the browser.  Not Good! I try to update my password log immediately when one changes.  My sister uses a little black address/password book. I have 2 versions of a Password Log for you.  I like to do an alphabetical list and first gave you MS Word sheets to print and fill in with accounts and passwords.   Keep your list safe.



Google Docs Download MS Word Passwords





The other version is alphabetical accounts in an Excel spreadsheet. You can modify to meet your needs. To add a line in the middle of the sheet, right-click on the line below your insertion point. Choose add row above. Now you can add an account alphabetically in the middle of a list.  If you have suggestions  for changes to the printable, please feel free to write. I’d be happy to update them.





Google Docs Download Excel Passwords




Thanks for coming by.  Stay safe!



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I was raised in Tennessee but have lived in Florida for many years. Love my small home in the Tampa Bay area and its developing garden. My decorating style is eclectic - some vintage, some cottage, all with a modern flair. Pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Spent many years in social services but am happily retired.

21 thoughts to “Online Fraud Prevention”

  1. What a scary world this is. My paypal account was hacked a few weeks ago, it’s been sorted already but was very unpleasant at the time.

  2. Hello, it is scary getting hacked. I change my passwords often and I do keep a log of them. Once, I had my photos stolen and they asked for a ransom. Luckily I had my photos all backup and there was nothing important taken that I would have paid a ransom for, so I had my computer fixed and ignored their request for money. Everyone has to be careful. Thanks for the info and post. Have a happy day!

    1. Wow – a ransom for your photos. That is scary and I hadn’t thought of that. I use Flickr for photos and my account there could easily be hacked I guess. Take care!

  3. Useful tips. Security is a concern.
    We need to be vigilant to protect our data and identity.
    Thank you for visiting my blog. Have a great week!

    1. Just keep a good list and update it when you change passwords. No one can remember all the passwords.

  4. Some really good information here. It is very scary to think how much of our lives are open to scams and hacking. #KeepingItReal

  5. This is some awesome information. There are alot of online password managers. My problem with those is that if the hackers can hack into some of the largest and powerful companies in the world, what’s to stop them from hacking into a password maintenance softward? Guess I have become cynical.

  6. Hi Carol, Great tips! My husband can’t get it into his head that strong passwords are essential and that changing them every few months is a good idea too. He’s very much it will never happen to us, even thoguh we did have a spait of dodgy emails back along. We have a little book of passwords too, it’s not ideal, but really the safest way of storing them.

    Thank you for linking up with#keepingitreal


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