Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PERSONALFINANCE -

You need to be “stingy with your per­sonal in­for­ma­tion”, Anna Col­lard says.

If you have a pro­file on so­cial me­dia, she rec­om­mends that you ex­er­cise great dis­cre­tion about what you dis­close about your­self.

“Don’t use your own name on non-work-re­lated so­cial net­works; don’t post your date of birth, your pro­fes­sional role or your con­tact de­tails. Use the pri­vacy set­tings, and be care­ful about who you ac­cept as a friend,” Col­lard says.

Read pri­vacy poli­cies, and don’t ever click on links in emails that ask you for your per­sonal in­for­ma­tion. “If the of­fer sounds too good to be true, don’t trust it,” she says.

Don’t click on pop-ups that ap­pear on web­sites. To ver­ify that hy­per­links link to the email ad­dresses that they claim to, hover your mouse over the link to ex­pose the un­der­ly­ing URL.

You can con­firm the real sen­der of an email by look­ing at the “mes­sage header”.

To con­firm a gmail mes­sage header, open the mes­sage and click on the down ar­row in the topright cor­ner of the mes­sage. Then se­lect “show orig­i­nal”, and you will see the mes­sage source.

If you have a hot­mail ac­count, right-click on the mes­sage and se­lect “view mes­sage source”.

If you use MS Out­look 2010, you can ver­ify the sen­der’s iden­tity by open­ing the mes­sage and go­ing to “view”.

Don’t trust peo­ple call­ing you try­ing to get you to click on links or down­load soft­ware (such as fake Mi­crosoft up­dates).

Re­mem­ber what United States found­ing fa­ther Ben­jamin Franklin said: “Dis­trust and cau­tion are the par­ents of se­cu­rity”. And al­ways “think be­fore you click” .

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