Protecting your identity can be a task at anytime, but during the holidays it can be particularly challenging. With online sales increasing each year, we see more and more cases of identity theft – be it via hacking or phishing.
Phishing has become more problematic in recent years for a variety of reasons, but the most obvious is that the schemes have become more sophisticated. Instead of an email from a Nigerian prince, you will now receive an email from your bank or other financial institution asking for sensitive account information.
It is important not to bite on such tactics. It is highly unlikely that your bank will be asking you for your login or social security number via email. If anything, they will ask you contact them directly to confirm such information. If you receive such an email, contact the company using the phone number available on their website and let them know what it going on.
Here are a few more tips for protecting yourself from identity theft:
- Do not email, or attach to an email any personal information. Once the email has been sent it is no longer in your control, what the user chooses to do with it is up to them.
- Install anti-virus software and a firewall on your computer. Keep your browser up-to-date with the latest security downloads.
- Only buy from websites with a URL beginning HTTPS://. The “S” indicates that it is a secure server.
- Limit yourself to using only one credit card for online purchases. This will make it easier for you to keep track of your account activity.
- Try not to store personal information and account numbers on your computer.
Contact Alpine Insurance & Financial for more information on protecting your family from identity theft
Photo – © fotopak – Fotolia.com
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