Computer Crime Prevention

Emails from Financial Institutions
It is important to note that financial institutions are not in the habit of contacting customers by email unless that customer has signed up for such a service.  So, if you receive an email message from a financial institution that you are not currently doing business with, it is best to disregard the email message.  If you receive an email from your bank requesting that some action be taken on your part, do not click on any links provided in the email body.  Instead, go to the trusted web address for your bank, sign in using their secure procedures, and verify whether the action needs to be taken or not.

Banks across Maine have started an initiative to help inform their customers about phishing and similar financial crimes.  More information can be found on the No Phishing website.

General Computer Security
  • Task 1 - Install and Use Anti-Virus Programs
  • Task 2 - Keep Your System Patched
  • Task 3 - Use Care When Reading Email with Attachments
  • Task 4 - Install and Use a Firewall Program
  • Task 5 - Make Backups of Important Files and Folders
  • Task 6 - Use Strong Passwords
  • Task 7 - Use Care When Downloading and Installing Programs
  • Task 8 - Install and Use a Hardware Firewall
  • Task 9 - Install and Use a File Encryption Program and Access Controls 2
Tips to Avoid Financial Crimes
  • Never use a debit card to conduct online transactions. Use a credit card instead.  Credit card companies will allow you to dispute fraudulent transactions, whereas the cash you deposited in your bank account is much more difficult to replace once it is gone.
  • Cancel any credit or debit cards as soon as possible after they are stolen.
  • Check your credit reports at least annually. You can obtain a free credit report online. The 3 credit reporting bureaus are:
  • Request that a Fraud Alert be placed on your credit reports if you believe you are the victim of identity theft.
  • Never wire transfer money overseas to a person you don’t know.
  • Shred financial documents that contain account information instead of throwing them in the garbage.
Resources For Parents
Help teach your kids how to be safe online. The following resources contain interactive content on topics such as Social Networking, Identity Theft, and Child Exploitation: