Have you noticed an increase in email and telephone scams? We have seen a spike in subscriber complaints about telephone callers and emails with people phishing for information. This may be due to increased activity in the hacker community or even be the aftermath of any one of the big data breaches that have occurred.
If you receive an unexpected call or email asking for any amount of information, be on high alert. We have seen reports of fraudulent calls about banks needing to verify credit card digits, individuals trying to gain access to computers remotely to conduct fraud, thieves trying to get home or car information for fake insurance quotes, and more.
If you have any questions about a call or email that is suspicious, do not provide ANY information. Call the phone number listed on your bank statement or use the email address listed on their official website to verify you are working with the correct company. If you do accidentally provide information to a potential scammer, be sure to take proper precautions to protect your identity. Enroll in InfoArmor’s PrivacyArmor at http://www.myprivacyarmor.com.
Are you looking for a new job? Thieves may be targeting you. Fraudsters will build fake websites and job ads that ask for personal information like name, address, Social Security number, and more. Thieves may even send out email alerts about a job posting or a position that you are qualified for.
Don’t let the desperation of a job search cause you to fall victim to identity fraud. Never give out personal information online. Do not give out your Social Security number until you have been hired at a company and are completing new hire paperwork.
When providing any information online, think logically about if it is “too good to be true” and treat that as your warning sign. A resume is full of your personal information so be careful who you give it to.
Data breaches, and credential theft are so prevalent that it is impossible to say when the next one will happen, or even how many people will be affected. Smartphones have made our lives easier in many ways, but they leave us vulnerable to many forms of fraud. Whether your phone is physically stolen, or the information is skimmed, we need to be more aware of our security.
One of the simplest ways to protect your phone is to have a password on your lock screen. This can usually be achieved through the settings section of the phone. Another safety measure is to make sure you don’t store your passwords for important apps like email or banking. A thief can use those apps just as easily as you and before you know it your savings account is drained. Unfortunately thieves have learned how to hack cell phone carriers as well and can have access to your phone through your service provider. These tips are not meant to intimidate, but to encourage safe smartphone usage.
Shopping online, job applications, school logins, and other online sites can leave you vulnerable to identity theft and credit fraud. Hackers are becoming increasingly nimble at creating fake websites that look like the real ones so that the consumer gives them information, so be diligent in checking the URL of any website that you are giving information.
Some other things to look for when checking to see if a site is secure are, a closed yellow padlock symbol in the bottom of the screen, or next to the URL, and an “s” after the “http” in the URL. The “s” means secure. Also be sure you read the websites’ privacy and security policies to make sure you know who they give your information to and how they use it.
Most importantly, only give out the bare minimum. Make sure the site is secure before providing any information online.
There has been an increasing number of reports in which free airport Wi-Fi leads to theft, fraud, and other malicious activity. These airport incidents happen because thieves set up fake internet signals, tricking vulnerable and tired travelers into using unsecured internet connections. They then have access to steal passwords, credentials, credit card numbers, or any other personal data that you entered.
Thieves are becoming smarter, and the only way to protect yourself is to be aware of their malicious campaigns. In order to avoid airport schemes consider the following:
- Check what internet signals you are connecting to
- Use your own personal internet signal; make sure it is password protected
- Turn off the automatic connect button on your phone
If you have reason to believe your identity has been compromised, consider adding InfoArmor’s identity protection at www.myprivacyarmor.com.
As the summer winds down and school approaches it is important to remember how to protect your identity. You should be aware of the new ways that thieves are attempting to steal your data, as well as ways to keep your family and yourself safe. Use the following strategies to help protect your family and yourself as you prepare for the new school year:
- Enable privacy settings on social media
- Limit sharing information on social media (i.e. current locations, addresses, phone numbers, mother’s maiden name, pet names, date of birth)
- Be cautious when using public wireless network as they are a prime target of hackers and malicious viruses and malware.
- Never leave your laptop or phone alone in the library or cafeteria; they are full of personal information
- Do not input private information on public computers (hackers can use keyloggers or spyware to save everything you type)
Get protected by InfoArmor at http://www.myprivacyarmor.com.
There are many ways thieves can steal your information and knowing how to protect yourself is becoming more and more important these days. Follow these simple ways to avoid having information compromised:
- Purchase a cross-cut shredder. Thieves will do anything to collect your information, and shredding is a good preventative measure to avoid identity theft. Shred old bills, medical receipts, bank statements, or anything with personal financial information.
- Check your credit report. Be aware of your credit score and credit card account activity. Checking your credit score at least once a year and keeping a close eye on your credit cards will decrease the possibility for fraud.
- Carry fewer cards to reduce your risk. Make sure to be conscious of what you carry with you on a daily basis. Never have your driver’s license and your social security card with you at the same time.
Keep these tips in mind when researching ways to protect your identity. Concerned about identity fraud? Learn more about InfoArmor’s services at www.myprivacyarmor.com.