internet safety http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/11520/all en-US What Is Your Auto-Reply Email Telling People About You? http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-your-auto-reply-email-telling-people-about-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-is-your-auto-reply-email-telling-people-about-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/private.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It&rsquo;s a common practice: You leave the office for any amount of time (a week, an hour, etc.) and you set up a nice little out-of-office email reply so people don&rsquo;t wonder why you haven&rsquo;t replied back in a timely fashion. You think you&rsquo;re being proactive, even professional. But could you be risking your personal information and possibly even your safety?</p> <h2>How Companies (and others) Get Your Info</h2> <p>I&rsquo;ve managed several newsletter subscriptions for companies (including my own) over the years. For the most part, I&rsquo;ve never required that people give me much of their own information to sign up and receive the emails &mdash; an email address and possibly a first name will get the job done. What is surprising (and a bit disturbing), however, is that many people will willingly volunteer very personal tidbits of information to me, a stranger, via their email auto-replies.</p> <p>My company&rsquo;s newsletter goes out&hellip;your full name, address, company name, work number, cell phone number, and your schedule for the next week (as well as names of the co-workers who will be handling your job while you&rsquo;re gone) come back. Scared? You might want to listen up.</p> <p>Most companies don&rsquo;t read the auto-replies that they get from their mailing list subscribers. In fact, many times you can&rsquo;t automatically reply to mailings from companies because they come from some sort of auto-responder, and you may find that you just get an error message in return.</p> <p>However, are you aware of how many mailing lists you may be on? As an avid <a href="http://wisebread.com/sweeping-101-what-the-real-winners-know">sweepstaker</a> for over 10 years (and <a href="http://wisebread.com/bestdeals/today">a freebie hunter</a>), I know that I&rsquo;ve probably been on as many as a thousand lists at any one time. I use my personal email account (one that&rsquo;s specifically set up for these types of communications) and I NEVER use an auto-reply. Ever.</p> <h2>What Should You Do?</h2> <p>What if you have already signed up for newsletters at work and you have to use an auto-reply? There are two things you can do:</p> <p><strong>1. The next time you get any email to your work email that is part of a mailing list, have the email address changed to a personal email.</strong> Your work usually has a policy on using work email for personal use, anyway, so this may help you out in the long run if it ever comes up.</p> <p>OR</p> <p><strong>2. Use discretion when sending out an auto-reply.</strong>&lt; This is good practice, not just for mailing lists, but for any email. It&rsquo;s very easy for someone to get your work email, either by calling the receptionist at your company, or Googling to find the domain of your email server (@yourcompany.com, for example). If someone can figure out how to send an email by guessing (common addresses are <a href="mailto:FirstName.LastName@company.com">FirstName.LastName@company.com</a> or <a href="mailto:FirstInitial.LastName@company.com">FirstInitial.LastName@company.com</a>), they can send you an email, and ultimately get an auto-reply when you leave the office. Avoid giving out any more info than you need in an auto-reply, and under no circumstances should you give out personal info (like your home number, cell number that&rsquo;s not work-related, or where you will be going). This is an easy way to give out too much info to a scammer, stalker, or other evil-doer who may be trying to find out more about you or steal your identity.</p> <p>For the majority of companies and mailers out there, we aren&rsquo;t interested that you&rsquo;ll be visiting the podiatrist at 3pm today and that Sally in accounting will handle your calls. But just in case, it&rsquo;s always good to keep these things to yourself.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-your-auto-reply-email-telling-people-about-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/phishing-scams-continue-to-plague-social-media-sites">Phishing Scams Continue to Plague Social Media Sites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-must-immediately-do-after-losing-your-smartphone">8 Things You Must Immediately Do After Losing Your Smartphone</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-terrifying-things-that-can-happen-when-someone-steals-your-phone-and-how-you-can-protect-it">11 Terrifying Things That Can Happen When Someone Steals Your Phone (And How You Can Protect It)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-worlds-4-biggest-credit-card-scams">The World&#039;s 4 Biggest Credit Card Scams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-scams-and-cons-that-could-clean-you-out">The scams and cons that could clean you out.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Technology auto-reply identity theft internet safety scams security Sun, 17 Jan 2010 18:00:04 +0000 Linsey Knerl 4701 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Shop Online Safely http://www.wisebread.com/dealista-tip-how-to-shop-online-safely <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dealista-tip-how-to-shop-online-safely" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000000195558Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-link field-field-dealista-file"> <div class="field-label">Dealista MP3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://media.blubrry.com/dealista/traffic.libsyn.com/dealista/dealista015_safe-online-shopping.mp3" target="_blank">Dealista #15: Safe Online Shopping</a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This article shares tips from the 15th episode of <a href="http://dealista.quickanddirtytips.com/">Dealista</a>,our podcast that'll help you get more for less.</em></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/share-your-black-friday-stories-thoughts-and-strategies">Black Friday</a> officially rang in the holiday shopping season and today is Cyber Monday, the day when retailers offer big sales online. If you didn't head out before dawn to line up for Black Friday deals, perhaps you've already spent your morning back at work shopping from the comfort of your desk and checking people off your gift list.</p> <p>However, with the uptake in online shopping, so does online crime. Thankfully, there are a few easy things we can do to avoid becoming a victim of it.</p> <h2>Computer Safety</h2> <p>Make sure the computer you are using is secure. That means downloading and installing updates for your operating system, security software (firewall, anti-virus, and anti-spyware), and even your browser. <a href="http://www.comodo.com/home/internet-security/firewall.php">Comodo</a>, <a href="http://www.free-av.com/">Avira</a>, and <a href="http://www.superantispyware.com/">Super AntiSpyware</a> are popular, safe, and free security programs. (Make sure you're downloading the <strong>free</strong> versions of each. Sometimes they make the &quot;free trial&quot; button bigger than the &quot;free version&quot; button.) Update and secure your wireless connection.</p> <p>Because you have less control over the security features, it's best to avoid using public computers and public wireless connections whenever you are shopping online or accessing personal financial information.</p> <h2>Seller Reputation</h2> <p>Check out the store before placing an order. Do a search for reviews and only shop from stores that are reputable and have been rated. The site should have a privacy policy, a returns policy, and a physical address and phone number. During the order process, look for a yellow padlock on the status bar of your browser screen. Also look for a URL that starts with <strong>https </strong>rather than the usual <strong>http</strong>. The &ldquo;s&rdquo; indicates that you're on a secure page, which means that the data sent from that page is encrypted (and difficult for hackers to access). Do not enter your credit card or other sensitive information if you do not see these symbols on the site.</p> <h2>Private Sellers</h2> <p>When shopping on sites like <a href="http://www.ebay.com/">Ebay</a> or <a href="http://www.etsy.com/">Etsy</a>, the best you can do is to check the seller's ratings and feedback. Also, always go through the formal process as directed by the site. If a seller requests that a sale be made &quot;off site,&quot; report the seller immediately. Sometimes sellers offer a discount for doing this to bypass the seller fees they pay when a sale is recorded. It's best to be safe than sorry in these cases.</p> <h2>Payment Security</h2> <p>Credit cards will offer a higher level of protection than debit cards or cash. If you use a check or debit card, the amount is first taken out of your checking account, and you'd have to go through a process to get it back. But if you see an unauthorized charge on your credit card, you can dispute it before having to pay for it first.</p> <p>Some credit card companies also offer temporary account numbers or prepaid cards to lessen the risk of identity theft. The temporary account numbers may be good only for a limited time, or for online shopping only with a smaller credit limit.</p> <h2>Purchase Tracking</h2> <p>It may be easy to forget about an order or two, so keep track of all your purchases and check that the correct amount was charged on your credit cards. Also track their shipping status and confirm that each order is properly delivered.</p> <h2>Email Fraud</h2> <p>To be safe, it's best to never click on a single link in an email. However, the most important ones to avoid are the ones that ask you to &quot;confirm&quot; your financial information. It might even use the name of the bank you actually have an account in. If that's the case, type the address of the bank site directly in your browser and contact them directly to ask if they really are looking for you.</p> <h2>Report Problems</h2> <p>If you have been a victim of online fraud, report to the following:</p> <ul> <li>the Attorney General's office in your state</li> <li>your county or state consumer protection agency</li> <li>the Better Business Bureau at: <a href="http://www.bbb.org/">www.bbb.org</a></li> <li>the Federal Trade Commission at: <a href="http://www.ftc.gov/">www.ftc.gov/</a></li> </ul> <p><em><a href="http://dealista.quickanddirtytips.com">Dealista</a> is a collaboration between Wise Bread and <a href="http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/">Quick and Dirty Tips</a>, the producer of popular podcasts such as <a href="http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/">Grammar Girl</a>, <a href="http://moneygirl.quickanddirtytips.com/">Money Girl</a>, <a href="http://winninginvestor.quickanddirtytips.com/">Winning Investor</a>, and <a href="http://mightymommy.quickanddirtytips.com/">Mighty Mommy</a>.</em></p> <p><em>If you enjoyed these tips you can find more in <a href="http://dealista.quickanddirtytips.com">our show's archive</a>.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lynn-truong">Lynn Truong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dealista-tip-how-to-shop-online-safely">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-secrets-of-amazons-pricing-strategy-will-help-you-find-the-best-buys">These Secrets of Amazon&#039;s Pricing Strategy Will Help You Find the Best Buys</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-all-that-stuff-the-police-seize-and-its-cheap">How to Buy All That Stuff the Police Seize. And It&#039;s Cheap.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-should-never-buy-on-groupon-or-livingsocial">5 Things You Should Never Buy on Groupon or LivingSocial</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/filler-strategies-for-amazon-s-free-super-saver-shipping">Filler Strategies for Amazon’s Free Super Saver Shipping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-10-20-on-online-purchases-every-day">How to Save 10-20% on Online Purchases, Every Day</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Shopping dealista internet safety online shopping Mon, 30 Nov 2009 17:00:04 +0000 Lynn Truong 3905 at http://www.wisebread.com