Identity thieves use your personal information without your knowledge. The thief may use your name to recover debt and even commit crimes. The following tips can help you reduce the risk of becoming a victim.
- Protect your social security number.
Do not carry your social security card in your wallet. If your health plan (except Medicare) or another card uses your social security number, ask for a different number from the company. For more information, see your Social Security number: Key to controlling identity theft pages.
Prompt to protect your SSN and identifiable information
- Keep your card and any other files showing your social security number in a safe place; do not always carry your card or other document to display your number.
- Be careful to share your number, even if you are required; share your SSN only when absolutely necessary.
Protect your personal financial information at home and on the computer.
- Check your credit report once a year.
- Check your Social Security income report annually,
- Protect your PC by using firewalls, antispam / virus software, updating security patches, and changing the password for your Internet account.
- Protect your personally identifiable information; keep it private. Only when you are with you can you provide your SSN.
- hit “fishing” – do not take bait.
Do not reply to any request to verify your account or password. Legitimate companies do not require this information in this way.
Bottom line: Never provide your personal information – unless you contact.
2.1 Do not fall because of ordinary scams
- An unexpected email from the IRS is always a scam. The IRS does not contact taxpayers by email or social media to request personal or financial information. If you receive a fraudulent mail claiming to be from the IRS, please forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A phone call claiming to be an agent of the IRS is a scam if you can not pay immediately or threaten you with arrest or deportation. In another variation, the caller requests your financial information in order to send you a refund. Report these calls and other IRS counterfeit programs to the Treasury’s Director of Tax Management at 1-800-366-4484 or on the IRS Model Fraud Report website.
- If you find a website that claims to be IRS but does not start with “www.irs.gov”, please forward the link to email@example.com.
How to avoid fraud and fraud
Every day, consumers are given a great deal of fraud, so you must always exercise caution when it comes to your personal and financial information. The following tips may help prevent you from becoming victims.
- Beware of incoming emails or text messages asking you to click on a link because the link may install malicious software that allows the thief to peek into your computer and get your information;
- Suspect that any email or phone request to update or verify your personal information because lawyers do not obtain updates to existing information in an unsafe manner;
- It is legal to contact the sender by contacting the sender (preferably by looking up the sender’s contact information instead of using the contact information in the email);
Assuming that anything that seems too good is not true, it may be deceptive;
- Be wary of the fraudulent check, bank check, money order or e-Fund transfer sent to you requesting that you refund part of the money to you;
- Be wary of unsolicited offers that require you to act quickly;
- Check the security settings on social networking sites. Make sure they stop people you do not want to see your page;
- Before researching any “apps”, do not assume that “apps” is legal because it is similar to the name of a bank or other company you are familiar with;
- For any pressure to make you remittance by wire transfer quickly or involved in the confidentiality of the other party, and
- Beware of disaster-related financial fraud. After a catastrophic event, a crook uses what people claim to be from a legitimate charity that is actually trying to steal money or valuable personal information.
Top five password best practices
Posted by Christina Bond | June 4, 2013
Username-password combination is the most common way to secure data or other resources. For many applications and systems, this combination is the only line of defense against unauthorized access. Creating a strong password and keeping it safe helps to minimize the guesswork.
- Never write down your password
Write down the password, especially near the computer password, it is easy to be stolen. You may find it necessary to write them down until they are remembered, but this is not a safe practice. Consider someone using your username and password to log in to your computer because you wrote the information on a note and placed it on your computer monitor. Anything that this person does looks like the one you are logged into, and if there is any malicious activity, it will be hard to prove that it is not actually yours.
- Use a unique password for work and personal accounts
If your password is stolen, you do not want that person to have access to all of your accounts. Using a different password for each account can make it harder for hackers to work harder. If remembering all passwords seems a daunting task, consider using Password Manager to help manage your passwords. I recommend KeePass, the free password manager tool. It’s easy to use for Windows and Mac users.
3 often change the password
Passwords should be changed periodically to limit their useful time if stolen. If your password is guessed or obtained in another way, what information will be exposed? If your personal information is exposed, you risk risking identity theft. If your bank information is available, your money may be stolen. If your work-related information is provided to unauthorized users, your university’s reputation may be at risk.
Consider changing your password on Monday morning and letting you log in multiple times throughout the day and week to better remember them. The worst time to reset your password? Friday afternoon, because you do not have enough time to re-use the password to help you remember it.
Avoid using dictionary words
Dictionary words are commonly used words or names found in English or foreign language dictionaries. Hackers use a software program that runs through the entire dictionary to perform a common attack, known as a dictionary attack, to guess your password.
Avoid using a single word when creating a new password or resetting an old password. Instead, use a combination of words, letters, and symbols to make your password safer.
- Consider using a passphrase
Hope there is a way to make the password powerful yet still easy to remember? Passphrases are just a different way of thinking about the length of a password. Your password can be your favorite song lyrics, from books, magazines or movies. The idea is that this is a phrase, not a word. Add some numbers and phrases to a few symbols and you have a more powerful and easier to remember password. Really simple
Think about the phrase “Mary has a lamb.” This can easily become a password, M @ rHadAL! ttleLam6. The password has an acceptable length, numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters and symbols. It is also easy to remember. Source http://blogs.elon.edu/technology/top-5-password-best-practices/
- Polish your password habits.
Identity thieves like passwords because they open the door to our personal information. Now tough, organized. Use a different password for all accounts. Make these passwords at least eight characters long, including a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols ($ + r0 ^ gh @ h @). Keep them safe and easy to keep. Good password practice is work, but fixing identity theft is hard work! For more information, see the Secure Password Practice page.
On the social network is very mysterious.
What you share on social networks (your home or email address; children’s names, birthdays, etc.) is the reason why theft thieves use for fraud, phishing and account theft. Do not over share. For more information, see our public privacy: How to Limit Your Exposure to Social Networking Sites.
- Shield your computer and smart phone.
Protect personal information on your computer and smartphone. Use strong password. Use regularly updated firewall, virus and spyware protection software.
Avoid spyware. Only download freeware from sites you know and trust. Do not install software without knowing what it is. Set Internet Explorer browser security to at least Medium. Do not click the link or spam in the pop-up window. For more information, see our tips for protecting your computer from viruses, hackers, and spyware and / or smart about smartphones: Consumer Web Pages.
- Please click carefully.
- Check your statement.
Open your credit card bill and bank statement now. Carefully examine any unauthorized charges or withdrawals and report immediately. If the bill does not arrive on time, call. This could mean someone has changed the contact information to hide fraudulent charges.
- Stop pre-approved credit concessions.
Stop most pre-approved credit card offers. They create an attractive target for identity thieves who steal your mail. Remove your name from the credit bureau marketing list. Call toll free at 1-888-5OPTOUT (888-567-8688). Or choose online at www.optoutprescreen.com.
Under the FCRA, a consumer credit reporting company may list your name on a list used by creditors or insurance companies to provide credit or insurance that is not initiated by you (“company quotes”). FCRA also gives you the right to “opt-out” to prevent companies that offer credit card information to your consumer credit reporting company.
Through this site, you can request:
- Receive a fixed discount within five years – (via this website electronically).
- Permanent refusal to accept fixed offers – (emails permanently opt out of the opt-in form via this website).
- Choose and qualify for a fixed discount. This option is for users who have previously completed an “exit” request (electronically through this site).
If you choose to opt out, you will no longer be included in the firm quotes provided by the four consumer credit reporting companies. If you did not receive the confirmed offer because you previously completed the unsubscribe request, you can apply to opt-out. In doing so, you quickly become a member of many consumers who can benefit from ready access to information and insurance products.
- Check your credit report – free.
One of the best ways to prevent identity theft is to monitor your credit history. You can get a free credit report for each of the three national credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Apply for all three reports at once, or become your own free credit monitoring service. Just separate your request and order from a different board every four months. (Credit bureau more comprehensive monitoring services cost more than $ 44 a year to over $ 100 a year.) Order a free, free, annual credit report over the phone at 1-877-322-8228 at www.annualcreditreport.com. Or you can mail the order. For more information, see our How to Order a Free Credit Report page.
Do not be afraid to ask questions when your business or organization requests your personal information. Ask how to use it. Ask how to share, and how to protect. Explain what you are concerned about.
Take steps to protect yourself from identity theft:
- Secure your social security number (SSN). Don’t carry your social security card in your wallet or write your number on your checks. Only give out your SSN when absolutely necessary.
- Don’t respond to unsolicited requests for personal information (your name, birthdate, social security number, or bank account number) by phone, mail, or online.
- Contact the three credit reporting agencies to request a freeze of your credit reports.
- Collect mail promptly. Place a hold on your mail when you are away from home for several days.
- Pay attention to your billing cycles. If bills or financial statements are late, contact the sender.
- Enable the security features on mobile devices, especially if you have contacts, banking websites and applications saved.
- Update sharing and firewall settings when you’re on a public wi-fi network. Consider using a virtual private network, which can give you the privacy of secured private network.
- Review your credit card and bank account statements. Promptly compare receipts with account statements. Watch for unauthorized transactions.
- Shred receipts, credit offers, account statements, and expired credit cards, to prevent “dumpster divers” from getting your personal information.
- Store personal information in a safe place at home and at work.
- Install firewalls and virus-detection software on your home computer.
- Create complex passwords that identity thieves cannot guess easily. Change your passwords if a company that you do business with has a breach of its databases
- Review your credit report once a year to be certain that it doesn’t include accounts that you have not opened. You can order it for free from Annualcreditreport.com.