In today’s world of constantly evolving technology, digital-based innovations, and economic conditions, it is imperative that we all learn how to avoid becoming the target of digital thieves. At Somerville National Bank, we feel that it is our responsibility to the communities that we serve and others around the nation to provide our expertise on online fraud to internet users. At one point, online fraud was considered to be “controlled”; however, the internet is now integrated into nearly every layer of our personal and professional lives. As a result, fraud is being committed at extremely alarming rates. It is important that you know and understand this. In this series, “How to Avoid Becoming the Target of Digital Thieves: An Online Fraud Guide for Internet Users”, you will learn about online fraud, be presented with pertinent information on digital thieves, and be issued highly valuable information on how to avoid becoming the next victim of this potentially devastating crime. We encourage you to bookmark our blog and stay tuned for new installments each week. The information in this series is vital to your safety, security, and livelihood.

The Collection of Data
In order for a digital thief to commit online fraud, they must first collect data on their soon-to-be victims. While this collection of data may be obtained through a company or similar means, it is most often obtained through the compromise of personal information over the World Wide Web. In most instances, this occurs as a result of a victim being subjected to the unfortunate deployment of highly sophisticated malware and/or phishing scams. Additionally, this information may be obtained through unsecured websites in which the victim enters in personal information and/or social media platforms. Furthermore, spyware and viruses could allow digital thieves to access personal information that could result in the act of digital crime.

For the purpose and intent of this guide, we will start with an introduction and detailed information on malware. For all intents, malware is a form of software – which is malicious in nature – that infects the internet-accessible device in which a victim utilizes. This software is highly unique in that it has the unique ability to capture an internet user’s personal and confidential information. Once captured, that information is forwarded to a digital thief. The thief may then take that information and use it to commit various types of fraud by impersonating the person in which it belongs. This type of software is known to infect web browsers, redirect any type of online search attempts, result in unwanted pop-ups, and monitor the internet activity of the user it has detrimentally impacted. Common examples of malware include Trojans, worms, viruses, and spyware.

If you use an internet-accessible device, it is imperative that you install a program that is reputable for properly protecting you from the malware produced and sent out by digital thieves. Not only will this aid in the prevention of your online activity from being monitored, but, it will also prevent digital thieves from accessing your private information and using that information in an illegal manner. Be certain to join us next week as we expound on phishing scams that could compromise your personal information. If you would like to know more about protecting yourself from online fraud by digital thieves, contact us here at Somerville Bank by clicking HERE.