Tips On Doing Business Online

· Guard your personal details securely

· Adopt 'do it yourself' approach in all online transactions

· Avoid navigating websites not beginning with 'http://'

· Avoid e-mail offering too-good-to-be-true chances

The internet has virtually become our second nature. With the medium's emergence as the fastest means of transacting business, it has become almost impossible for any serious business-minded person to stay off the internet. The increasing digitations of business and the easy, timely access offered by online service, especially in the financial services sector have made abstinence from the medium a near-impossible option. However, the unfolding series of fraudulent activities carried out daily online have become a source of concern worldwide, forcing companies and governments to put measures against it at high costs towards checkmating the trend. Despite United States much vaunted sophistication, over 25 million people recently lost huge sums of money to online fraudsters. The reason was that the people let out their personal details carelessly.

In recent months, e-mail boxes of many Internet users have been inundated with a series of scam mails requesting for password or furtive information. Of course, while many of the duped individuals in the high profile online fraud cases could be accused of being willing accomplices, a lot of innocent individuals have been losing their millions to fraudsters without their knowledge. Their mistake, in most cases, is that people carelessly let some probing Jones into their personal financial details. This error, which has often had significant consequences on the people's fortunes, has helped to underscore the need to protect one's identify more strictly online. The potential financial devastation caused by identity fraud should be enough reasons for us all to keep a tighter check on how we give out our personal details and the way we use our money online.

Although banks and other organizations are stepping up their efforts against this type of fraud, the best place to begin protections is with us as no one seems to be immune against the trend. Security and financial experts believe that the more proactive and aware amongst us can follow some steps to safeguard their identity and their finances.

The experts, worried by the trend, have proffered some safeguards on ways to keep our money safe online. A leading authority in this area, advice that the first step to avoid online fraud is "to do it yourself". According to her, "Whenever you visit a bank or a retailer's website online, always enter the address manual. Never follow an email link".

The next step also addresses the individual. Keep your account details and passwords secret, she says. According to her, surrounding these two instruments to yourself means that you may not be covered in the event of fraud.

Also, remember that your bank will never contact (ask) you to disclose security information (especially online). Therefore, ignore any emails that ask for your PIN, password or other personal details.

Another area of easy fraud is online purchases. Expert's advice is that "when buying online, always check and make sure that the website is secure-look for a padlock at the bottom right of the browser window. Click on the padlock to check that the sellers are who they say they are and that their certificate is current and registered to the right address. The web address should also begin with https://

He also warns that we should be wary of buying anything offered via spam or unsolicited phone calls.

Above all, Don't be conned by emails that offer you the chance to make some easy money-if it looks too good to be true, it usually is.