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Ten Ways to Protect Your Investments and Identity Online

Make sure that your computer is locked down.

You should always be concerned with computer security. Make sure that you have the proper software and other safeguards installed to protect your computer from viruses and hackers. You have many options, including some offered by the online brokers themselves.

But online criminals also use other low-tech methods to bilk investors. The most common trick used is phishing, which is pronounced fishing.

In phishing scams, the fraudster sends out millions of e-mails purporting to be from a bank (say Citibank), a store (like Best Buy), a government agency (say the Internal Revenue Service), or an online service (like PayPal or eBay). These e-mails are carefully crafted to appear official and generally ask the recipients to click a link to confirm or update personal information.

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