Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Reduce Your ID Theft Potential from Email by Opting Out

Identity theft using fake email solicitations is on
the rise.

"Phishing" is the term where an email is sent to you
which may look to be very similar to your bank or
credit card company. That email typically requests
an urgent action by you to "verify your account" by
clicking on an embedded link which subsequently takes
you to a phony web site. That phony web site usually
contains a form requesting you to provide your
personal information such as account number, social
security number, and password which can subsequently
be exploited by the identity thief to commit fraud
against you.

Any legitimate business which you already maintain a
credit relationship with would never request you to
provide that level of sensitive personal information
from an email.

So, today's tip is to simply not click on emails which
are requesting you to provide your personal
information as the simple act of just visiting those
type of fraudulent websites can open your personal
computer to inadvertently downloading a virus or worse
key loggers and Trojans. Instead, immediately delete
those type of emails from your in box and call you
financial institution if you have doubts.

Further we recommend you reduce your visibility on the
various email lists that spammers
and identity thieves can steal when they commit
computer break ins against legitimate companies.

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA), a trade
association for businesses in direct, database, and
interactive global marketing, maintains a Mail
Preference Service that lets you opt out of receiving
direct mail marketing from many national companies for
five years. When you register with this service, your
name will be put on a "delete" file and made available
to direct-mail marketers. However, your registration
will not stop mailings from any organizations that are
not registered with the DMA.

To "opt-out" of receiving unsolicited commercial email
from DMA members, visit
www.dmaconsumers.org/offemaillist.html.
Your online request will be effective for one year.

As a final note to our readers, we offer our free tips
on this web site completely anonymously. We do not
request nor capture any email addresses. We do offer
the convenience of email updates without the problems
of spam, viruses, & "phishing". To access that
convenience simply select any of the RSS subscription
options available on the right hand
section of this website.

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