Fear seems to be everywhere! People are constantly scared of identity theft and other cyber-crimes that only come to exist relevantly recently.
So in the age of the modern www, I want to consider how safe it is to provide your details online. Is it legitimate to fear that they will end up everywhere?
Let me firstly start by admitting that I regularly shop online (with larger stores), ebay and do my banking over the internet. I also participate in online surveys when the prize is worth my time.
And of course I comp. Yes, I comp a lot. I do not think that a day goes by without me entering online competitions or sweepstakes to win great free prizes.
So that means that I am constantly providing my personal details over the internet. And I have not once been the subject to identity theft or another person using my personal details. Sure, I have received a few bogus telephone calls and constantly emails to fake rolex, but I think that I learned to sniff out a scam.
How? These are my golden rules to avoid competition scams:
- Beware of fake competition websites. These are the ones with the address full of numbers and letters.
- If there are no terms and conditions available, don’t enter it.
- Make sure you have selected the privacy setting ‘friends only’ if you are entering competitions via Facebook.
- Never email an unknown address to win, especially if they ask for credit card details also.
- Absolutely never send money to claim a prize.
- Never complete your credit card details, bank account information and other private information that you do not want to have stolen; and
- Only enter the mandatory information on the entry form (But never give fake details).
Because I do these things, I have managed to keep my privacy and avoid falling for scams.
Remember, inviting strangers to your Facebook profile, or entering your credit details to claim a prize is akin to leaving the front door wide open and wondering why your tv got stolen.
So my advice is to always proceed with caution. Keep your privacy in mind and you will be protected from the scammers.