In the age of Internet we find ourselves in the crossroads of an evolving tool to have in business or personal use. One of the major issues with using the Internet on a consistent basis, which most due, is having a hacker breach your information or identity theft. Sony, Microsoft, Google, Facebook and the most recent Yahoo are some of the many companies that have been hacked. This left all the users of these companies outside in the cold to deal with their own personal issues if their information was one of the millions that these companies deal with. Credit Card companies and financial institutions have also been a victim to the new age of hackers. Identity theft is essentially the act of stealing one’s personal identity, without knowledge or consent. Purchasing good and services or commit fraud with the person’s name. There are some steps to help with keeping your information safe.
First and foremost
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When you are using computers that are not secure, don’t log into email or bank accounts. Instead, use a highly secure personalized computer to perform online transactions.
Password Change/Same Password
If you have an online account with any company this puts you at risk for your information to be taken. Internet security experts say to change your password every 3 months. Create a calendar reminder to go on and change your password it so you don’t forget. Most likely you have many different online accounts that requires a password to access your information. Stay clear of using the same password for your accounts. Choose a more difficult password.
Billing Cycles & Review Financial Statements
Pay attention to your billing cycles. If a bill fails to arrive via email or regular mail be sure to contact the company to ensure the bill has not been illicitly redirected. Look for unauthorized transactions such as purchases and withdrawals. Destroy canceled checks and store new checks in a safe place.
Pre-approved Credit Cards
Everyone who has a credit card is on the list to receive more pre-approved applications. Make sure to shred and destroy all of these. Also, any credit card receipts, bankbooks, bank statements with checks and pay statements.
Secure your computer
Enhance the security of your computer by installing high quality antivirus software that is powerful enough to prevent malicious programs from accessing your computer details. Also, regular computer updates are a must to update your computer’s security from a wide range of virus or Trojans that are created on a regular basis. You can also install IP-address protection software. This allows access to the sites you have added to your list. This can prevent unwanted sites or software from obtaining access to your accounts.
These steps will help lessen your chances of being hacked. Identity Theft if the number one consumer complaint and has been for many years. I was a victim of having my email hacked. They took all of my contacts and sent out an email saying that I was stuck in the London Embassy with no money and I needed help. It then had a link to a place where you can help wire me money. This is one of the many ways that hackers try to convince or manipulate people into giving away free money to them. The more people that are “in the know” of how these hackers are working the more we can try to eliminate Identity Theft.