If you use the Internet it may be getting harder
for you to safely protect your financial well-being, suggests a recent
Gallup poll published December 13, 2010.
The top 3 crimes listed were crimes involving stolen money or property,
vandalizing home/car/property, and computer/internet crime. The poll also
pointed out that while nearly all crime categories have remained at previously
reported levels the category of computer/internet crime has risen.
The poll emphasizes the real threat many Americans face every day from a variety
of money related crime. While all crime against you will have some sort of
financial consequence, such as a medical bill after being physically hit, the
majority of the crimes have a direct impact on your money. Take a look at the
chart provided by Gallup.com.
Even while cybercrime is rising, many reports are showing we are tending to
increasingly shop online, during the holidays in particular. Note this entry in
a November 30, 2010 on the
Wall Street Journal's website, "Sales on
Cyber Monday, the nickname for the Monday after Thanksgiving, rose 19.4% from
last year, according to Coremetrics, which tracks the websites of over 500
online retailers. The number tops last year's 14% growth, which had been the
highest in the seven years that Coremetrics has tracked online sales."
How to protect your financial well-being
Keeping yourself in a strong
economic position takes a two-step approach. The
first is taken actions that will allow you to gain income and assets, as well
as, get the most value of them.
The second is to protect yourself from financial loss. Loss can occur from a
number of things such as
unemployment or underemployment, poor health, or crime.
Today, protecting your financial well-being also includes being educated in
safely shopping and surfing online.
offers these guidelines for shopping safely online:
-Use a Secure Web Browser - They scramble or "encrypt" your purchase
information so that only you and the vendor can read it.
-Keep Records - Most online stores will email you confirmation of your
order. Print out and save these.
-Check your credit card and bank statements - look for errors and
purchases you did not make. If you find errors, call your credit card company or
-Check the online store's policies - Look for disclosures about the Web
site's security, refund and return policies, and statements about how the Web
site will use your personal information. Look for links to "About" pages or
"FAQ" pages. If a Web store says nothing about protecting your privacy, shop
-Never tell your password - to anybody, not even your Internet service
-Watch what you download - Never download files, run programs or view
graphics sent to you by strangers.
-Most Important of All - Keep Your Personal Information Private!