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Anti-Virus - Firewall

Most of the spam out there comes from the computers of innocent users who have a great free anti- virus program, or none at all, or anti-virus came with their computer and they assumed they were protected. It is very easy for 'trojans' - little programs that run in the background whenever you turn on your computer - to be picked up and installed on your computer without your knowledge - and from where they happily spew out spam and worse. And it can happen within 10-15 minutes on an unprotected computer.

Hopefully - very hopefully -most of you don't even need to read this.

You need to have high quality anti-virus software, one of the major players - do your research. You need to have your 'definitions' (the info from the software provider advising your computer of updates to viruses and trojans) updated daily. This usually happens automatically, but I recommend setting it on 'manual' and doing a manual update several times a day to get a feeling for how often they do come, and then when you change it to 'auto' - pay attention and make sure it is working.

Needless to say, NEVER NEVER NEVER, click on a link in an email, even if you know the sender - unless you are expecting something from them. Take the time to call or email them if you are not sure.

And, oh yes, your cellphone is very insecure - never send sensitive data via a text message on your cellphone or instant message or facebook, etc.

Credit Card Chargebacks - Credit Card Fraud

Some advice about bogus credit card chargebacks - where you've gotten ripped off because of bad credit card numbers.

If the shipping and billing address are different - that's the first pale red flag. Generally, you should call the billee person first and see if they know the shippee when an order comes in with different billing and shipping addresses. The case where the shippee doesnít know the billee is generally less common but they could be called too. For more expensive orders, it helps to verify the billing address with the bank.

You should be aware that in cases of fraud, very often the perpetrator will do a lower order amount transaction first to test and then will do a higher amount later. They can use your site for a test for fraud whether or not the products are easily resold. They may be using the site as a test transaction location for higher end sites they will try later on.

If a fraud finds such a site and isnít rejected they may continue to use the site for fraud and may also recommend it to associates. Thatís why it is usually good to catch frauds early to prevent further potential misuse. So be aware of and cautious on orders, especially where ship/bill addresses are different. Also, you should have a threshold, say $300 or something like that, above which you call the billee and the bank even if the bill/ship addresses are the same.

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