With the continuing expansion of Internet enabled technologies, more people, organizations and businesses are making resources accessible online. With this, the Internet has shifted from mostly a forum for information exchange to more of a public space with monetary exchange. Money will always attract those with financially motivated criminal intentions and the Internet is no exception. ID theft, spam, and fraud are just a few financial crimes that happen online. While there has always been a mischievous portion of the Internet user base, those responsible for financial crimes are more systematic, persistent, and professional in their activities and consequently more dangerous and arguably more damaging.
With this in mind, we all need to be diligent when receiving any electronic communication through email, instant messaging (IM), text messaging (SMS), etc. We should be suspicious of communications from people we do not know avoid less than reputable web sites, use and protect the secrecy of our complex passwords, and keep our computers and communication devices up to date and patched. Criminals typically attack the easiest, most defenseless targets. By following good security practices and staying aware of new and existing threats, we can reduce our exposure to these threats and thus lower our chances of being victimized online.
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