Convenience, instant communication, customer-centric shopping – with all the positives the age of the internet has given us, it can sometimes be hard to find a flaw, but lurking in the corners of the interwebs are a plethora of cyber threats, phishing scams, and identity thieves looking for any opportunity to make a quick buck or troll an unsuspecting victim’s hard-earned hardware. Luckily, you can outsmart these cyber criminals by taking necessary precautions and following these tips.
Never, ever give your personal information such as name, birthdate, Social Security number, or bank account number by phone, mail, or online. If you ever receive a call or email with an offer that sounds too good to be true and all you have to do is give one of these pieces of personal information, it is almost always a phishing scam and you should hang up or delete it immediately.
Other steps you can take include shielding yourself from ‘shoulder surfers’ who may try to read personal information over your shoulder at places such as the ATM, and to collect mail promptly, as well as putting it on hold with the USPS when you will be gone for an extended period of time.
Being alert and aware is vital in not only preventing identity theft, but catching it quickly in unpreventable cases to minimize the damage. Pay attention to your receipts and statements, either online or by mail. If an unauthorized charge shows up on either, contact the company immediately to update your account and stop future charges from occurring.
It is also wise to create complex passwords that include both numbers and letters and change them every 3-6 months or more frequently. Be proactive about reviewing the credit reports for yourself and your family (even children, whose identity theft can go unnoticed for years) to make sure no one is opening accounts or doing credit checks with your personal information.
Even with the best offense, you sometimes need a little defense as well, and protection tools go a long way in blocking unwanted cyber-attacks and preventing identity thieves from gaining access to your information. SecureIT℠ internet security systems are industry leaders at preventing viruses, spyware, and phishing scams from attacking your device; they work in the background with no user interaction, so you don’t have to worry while browsing and shopping online.
We also get that storing personal information online is sometimes the easiest way to be able to access it anywhere, and if that applies to you, we highly recommend Password Genie℠ to store passwords, credit card numbers, PINs, garage codes, and any other data you would like encrypted and stored safely online. This tool also helps greatly in generating and keeping track of complicated passwords.
And if you frequently send and receive files such as photos, music, documents, and more online, you’ll definitely want FileHopper℠ cloud storage, which secures and backs up your most important digital items so they will never be lost or stolen.
Using the steps above will help to alleviate the potential for identity theft, but with the ever-increasing methods online hackers are using to steal information, nothing is 100% fool-proof. Having identity theft insurance for yourself and/or your family can cost very little each month, and it can save you time and help you have peace of mind should you become victim to a cyber threat. It is true that most credit cards have protections in place that will refund charges made by identity thieves, but a solid identity theft insurance plan will have people who make the calls for you, monitor your accounts for suspicious activity, call credit companies to ensure your credit score is not affected, and save you hundreds of hours as well as much stress for serious attacks.
We know the internet plays an important role in the world and we are all about scoring that great online shopping deal, digitally communicating with friends and family, and watching all the funny YouTube cat videos our hearts can handle; we just want to do it safely and securely. Sign up or learn more about how our protection tools can help you do just that today!