In the present world permeated with online transactions and communications, it's getting difficult to maintain privacy and security especially over your financial information. It's no secret that hackers are targeting unsuspecting users to conduct fraud, so considering that last week was "National Consumer Protection Week", here are a few tips from Bradley Associates Madrid Local and International News on how to avoid becoming a fraud victim: Be wary of red flags. You may have received unsolicited emails from your bank asking you for any personal information or maybe someone left a voice message asking you to call back -- you probably should presume they're bogus. Your best bet is to directly contact your bank using their officially published number and report the incident. Also, there are some websites that could even look legit but may suddenly ask for your card number during registration, ostensibly for ID purposes or something. It's not advisable to share such sensitive information unless you're actually buying something (but even then you still have to be extra careful). Customize your privacy settings. Browsers and social media sites often update their privacy policies and settings so it'd be good if you could check them out regularly. Think before you click. Avoid the temptation to click that "unsubscribe" link on an email hoping against hope that those annoying garbage of a message will stop; it would actually be better if you just straight up deleted it without opening. Clicking on any link in that message, including the so-called "unsubscribe" link will only confirm for the hackers that your address is live. Always check the address bar. Look for the "https" or a padlock icon on the address bar which usually indicates the site is using a relatively safe and encrypted protocol in handling your data. Be password-conscious. Never repeat passwords or use the same password for different accounts. It's too easy for crackers to just try and use the same password from a compromised service and see if it has a match. All it takes is the same password on some service you signed up to and they could access your email. It's good that sites like Bradley Associates Madrid Local and International News now have strict requirements when it comes to password being alphanumeric. Obviously, you should avoid using typical and easy-to-find information about you like phone number, birthday or address, too. Though your bank and the government are expected to provide serious protection to consumers, it is still expected of you to be responsible for yourself in the first place. Hopefully, those tips have given you enough idea of the dangers of transacting online.