Friday, April 15, 2011

Are You Surfing Facebook with a Secure Connection?

Back in February, Facebook introduced an optional security setting that allows you to surf Facebook more securely: by SSL / HTTPS. Having a connection with HTTPS in the browser as opposed to HTTP helps protect your password as it moves from your computer to the website’s server that you are accessing. This is just a reminder that if you have not already changed your settings to protect yourself, do so now.

How to change your setting:

While on Facebook, look at your URL address in the browser. If you see “http:” instead of “https:” you DO NOT have a secure session. It’s easy to change. Just go to Account (upper right) and click Account Settings. Then Account Security – click Change. Check box (secure browsing), click Save.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Protect your identity — and your pocketbook.

Fighting identity theft means staying vigilant online and off. Protect your identity by taking the following steps from your Better Business Bureau:

• Monitor your financial accounts closely to more quickly detect suspicious activity.

• Make sure your computer has up-to-date antivirus software and be extremely selective when opening attachments or clicking on links in e-mails.

• Shop online through secure sites only and always confirm that the business is trustworthy before entering your credit or debit card number.

• Always shred sensitive documents - this includes personal financial information such as bank, credit card and Social Security numbers. This can be done at your BBB’s free shredding events; our next annual shredder event is:

Saturday, June 25, 2011
United Center
1901 West Madison Street
Chicago, IL 60612

For more details on upcoming Shred Days in your area, visit

Monday, April 4, 2011

Tips to Avoid Online Scammers

While it would be nice if all businesses and customers operated in a trustworthy and ethical fashion, the truth of the matter is, they don’t. 

Your Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois is here to provide advice on how you can be a smart, educated consumer in the many facets of online scams and fraud – many of which share the same red flags.

• Get everything in writing and always read the fine print.

While it’s natural to want to avoid reading the fine print, it’s important that customers understand their rights. Whenever signing a contract, especially on the internet, your BBB recommends reading the fine print carefully.

• Never wire money to someone you don’t know.

Many scams bill victims by convincing them to wire money. The reasons for wiring money can vary and include mystery shopping, paying fees to win a lottery and — if the target is a small business owner—overpayment for goods or services. Scammers know it’s extremely difficult to track money sent via MoneyGram or Western Union. More troubling for victims is that it’s nearly impossible to get your money back. Even if you’ve been given a check to supposedly cover the amount you’re wiring, never send money to someone you don’t know personally.

• Know where to complain.

If you’ve been ripped off online, there are any number of organizations and government agencies that want to hear about it. You can file a complaint with:

• Your Better Business Bureau at

• The Federal Trade Commission and your Attorney General’s Office

• Always check businesses out with the BBB.

Research businesses you can trust at and consider using the BBB’s FREE online service called eQuote to obtain estimates, proposals or general information from BBB Accredited Businesses.

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