Cyber Safety: Identity Theft
Jarrett McKay - Dec 12, 2016
As the internet plays an increasing role in our lives, the amount of cyber crime continues to grow. Identity theft — a crime in which an imposter uses your personal information for illegal purposes — has become a common offense. With the vast amount
As the internet plays an increasing role in our lives, the amount of cyber crime continues to grow. Identity theft — a crime in which an imposter uses your personal information for illegal purposes — has become a common offense. With the vast amount of information shared electronically through online banking, ecommerce and social networking sites, criminals have found new ways to easily obtain others’ personal information.
Are you taking the necessary precautions when you are online to avoid becoming a victim? Here are some ways to improve your cyber safety:
• Subscribe to the highest level of privacy on social media accounts so strangers cannot access your information. Avoid posting personal details like birthdays or addresses.
• Limit downloads to reputable sources.
• Never share passwords, even if a request appears to be legitimate.
• Ensure you have carefully chosen personal verification questions.
• Create different passwords for each of your accounts. If one account has been compromised, you will still have the peace of mind knowing that others have not.
• Change PINs and passwords periodically; use letter/number/symbol combinations where possible. To help remember multiple passwords, consider creating a pattern for all of your passwords. As an example, one password pattern could be created by using a letter/number/symbol combination like your initials, year of birth and an exclamation mark as the start for all passwords and then adding a different ending to the password depending on the website, such as the website’s first three letters.
• Use alternate email addresses for different purposes. For example, use one account for trusted business transactions (such as online banking) and another for activities on sites that you cannot fully trust. Remember that many websites often share your information with others.
• Buy carefully when you make online purchases. Look for reviews on vendors to confirm their reputation prior to making a purchase. Ensure you are dealing with secure sites before entering any transaction information.
• Keep computer security software up-to-date.
• Review your bank, credit card and other financial institution records frequently and report any questionable activity.
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