ID Theft and Your Security

November 25, 2014

Holidays come with a price. Don’t let your guard down. You need to protect yourself and your identity.

Let’s start by keeping track of your personal documents. Try not to dismiss simple things like credit card offers and or bills. Don’t just throw them away. Shred or destroy them. In the wrong hands they can be used to hurt you. Buy a safe or use the safety deposit box to store birth certificates, passports, insurance, financial and social security documents.

Keep track of your credit score. Experian, Trans Union and Equifax are the three major credit agencies. Experian has a great program to help you monitor things. It’s program includes training materials to help you expand your knowledge of credit security. Getting informed about credit is a good place to start.

Place a hold on your credit with all three agencies. It serves the purpose of preventing new credit from being taken in your name without your knowledge. You will pay a small fee when placing or releasing credit holds. Did you know that when a company runs your credit it actually lowers your credit score?

Stay on top of your personal electronic security. Most new computers sold today come with antivirus already loaded. If you want more security or you have an older computer I recommend Comodo internet security professional. In the event that you get a virus while it is installed and you pay for a repair, your Comodo Internet Security Pro subscription provides up to a $500 warranty. Comodo Internet Security Pro runs 40 dollars and it covers three computers. Pricing is tiered based on the subscription term you choose. Comodo Internet Security Pro has built in free technical support. The support system is called geek buddy.  Comodo does offer an upgrade to have technical support for issues not related to their product.

Avoid getting a virus. When checking e-mail, social networking or shopping online scrutinize everything before you open it.

1. Does the senders email address match the name or company?
2. Do you know who it is?
3. Is it something they would normally send?
4. Is the website properly secured?

If you have any doubts do not open it. Avoid marketing content unless you are absolutely sure it is safe. This is where most attacks are occurring. The hacker will impersonate and trick you into installing his virus on your computer. He will then have your address book and logins to the sites you frequent. Please be careful.

On the business front there is a lot more to worry about. The payment card industry isn’t the only industry that needs to be aware of electronic identity theft.  All businesses that store demographic information for their customers should be concerned about its security. Up-to-date systems with Antivirus should be maintained and regular security audits should be performed.

If you have questions or would like some help please don’t hesitate to contact us.