Chicago Automobile Trade Association

Practices for safer computing

November 18, 2010

Consumers would be educated on the dangers of identity theft, in a new campaign by the Federal Trade Commission. The NADA is helping the FTC in that effort by working to educate dealers and their customers on the bet practices for protecting personal information, particularly online. To help Internet users spot and avoid online fraud and deception, the FTC recommends adopting safer practices that include:


1. Know who you’re dealing with. Do business only with companies that plainly provide their name, street address and telephone number.


2. Protect your personal information. Share credit card or other personal information only when buying from a company you know and trust. Don’t share any personal information unless you know how it will be used and protected. And don’t reply to or click on links in any e-mail that asks for your personal information.


3. Use anti-virus software and a firewall, and update them regularly. Look for anti-virus software that recognizes current viruses as well as older ones; reverses any damage effectively; and updates automatically. If your firewall was shipped in the "off" mode, turn it on and make sure to set it up properly.


4. Be sure to set up your operating system and Web browser software properly, and update them regularly. Select security settings high enough to reduce your risk of being hacked. Make sure to regularly update your system with the latest patches.


5. Protect your passwords. Keep your passwords in a secure place, and don’t share them on the Internet or via e-mail or telephone.


6. Back up important files. If you have important files stored on your computer, copy them onto a removable disk and store the disk in a safe place.


7. Know who to contact if something goes wrong online. If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, report it to 1-877-FTC-HELP or You’ll be providing important information to help law enforcement officials track down and stop scam artists.


You also can go to, a site maintained by the FTC in partnership with other government agencies, Internet safety and help groups, and consumer organizations. Click on "File a Complaint" to learn how to respond if problems occur when you’re online. also provides practical tips from the federal government and the technology industry to help you be on guard against Internet fraud, secure your computer, and protect your personal information.


This article was adapted from materials provided by the FTC ( and by Consumer materials in Spanish are available at www.ftc/gov/ojo 



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