Many of us have received those annoying online ads telling us, we’ll receive a free I Pad or a Free computer if we participate in a survey. From our experience, the only thing we received, thus far, has been unsolicited phone calls and scam artists. Within two (2) minutes after filling out an online survey, we are bombarded with telephone calls from telemarketers, scam artist and even more recruiters. When does it all stop? What are our rights as cyber- consumers? To learn your rights as a consumer whether its online or off, go to www.FTC.gov.
If you are experiencing unsolicited calls from telemarketing companies, surveyors or annoying scam artist, protect yourself!
Here are a few suggestions to help you to Respect yourself by protecting yourself:
- Install a safe, reputable malware and/or spyware security program onto your computers and mobile devices.
- Place your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. Most telemarketers will not call after 31 days. Some do. If they do you may file a complaint against the company. Go to Do not call dot gov to read further about your rights.
- Set up fraud alerts on your credit reports.
- Set up credit monitoring reports on your credit reports.
- Contact the Federal Trade Commission at www.FTC.gov – report any suspicious calls and find out your rights.
- If you must give personal information online (paying bills, shopping, etc.), look inside of the address bar and if you see “http” do not give any personal information. The transfer is unsecure. Now if you see “https,” it is more secure. A hypertext Transfer Protocol with SSL/TLS protocol provides encrypted communication and secure identification of a network web-server. Although there is no sure fire way to totally secure your information online from hackers and businesses targeting leads, the https is a lot more safer.
- Beware of Phishing sites…. Here’s how Wikipedia describes phishing: In the field of computer security, phishing is the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Communications purporting to be from popular social web sites, auction sites, online payment processors or IT administrators are commonly used to lure the unsuspecting public.
Many internet users are extremely concerned about online privacy, but unaware of how to address and prevent it We must be informed, educated and know our rights. We must educate ourselves about the features, games and applications that pose a threat to our online privacy. Internet marketing has grown to unheard heights in an attempt to precisely and accurately target consumers online. We must get involved to reach out to our political representatives, the FTC and all municipalities in order to let them hear our voices and understand that we do not want our privacy exploited online nor anywhere.