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Welcome to the ProtectMyID Blog

Lessons and stories from the front lines of fighting identity theft.


Posts from October, 2010

Ways to Protect Your Sensitive Information Online

Oct 28

By Linda Foley, Founder, ITRC You’ve heard it all before – the cybercriminals are out there just waiting to access your sensitive information online. Identity thieves are “phishing” for information via emails, scammers are creating fake websites to “lure” you in, and others are “baiting” you with enticements like lottery winnings and big checks. You want to take the steps to be proactive, but don’t actually think they will work. On one hand, you may be right. On the other hand, why not try to at least make it harder for them to gain access to your information?

Identity Theft Protection Tips for Shopping Online

Oct 26

By an ITRC Victim Advisor Shopping online is a fun and convenient way to find items that you need and want. Millions of people shop online every day all over the world. From cell phones to shoes, and video games to concert tickets, anything and everything you could want can be found online. With that said, shopping can be risky. Some sites are not as safe as they appear.

Protecting Home Wireless Networks

Oct 21

By Rex Davis, Operations Director, ITRC Wireless networks have attained a de facto presence in home and small business environments during the past few years. The ever increasing ability (digital phones, personal handheld devices, gaming consoles, etc.) to connect to the Internet via a wireless node has propelled the wireless network router to a place of common acceptance in the home. The convenience brought to users by the wireless connection is often significant. So too is the increased risk of hacking if the wireless network is not secured properly. Below are some considerations to improve your security when operating a wireless network:

Phishing Scams: How to Spot and Avoid Them

Oct 19

By Linda Foley, Founder, ITRC By definition, a “phishing” scam is an attempt to trick you into supplying one of the following pieces of information: Social Security number (SSN), bank account information, credit/debit numbers or any other items that a thief could use to commit identity theft. Think of it this way: They are fishing for food and your information is dinner. These scams may be by telephone or an email/text format. The best way to avoid becoming a victim of a phishing scam is to not respond in any way. Hang up on suspicious, unsolicited callers and delete all phishing emails.

Keeping Children Safe Online

Oct 14

By Karen Barney, Communications Coordinator, ITRC It is time for all of us - still living in the slow lane - to face the reality that we live in a world becoming more and more reliant (yes, dependent!) on the Internet. Banking, social networking, business connections and homework are all being conducted online. While many adults are becoming increasingly aware of the need for security measures when conducting financial, business and social transactions, the same cannot be said for children and teenagers.

Cybersecurity and Consumer Apathy

Oct 12

By Linda Foley, Founder, ITRC What is your identity worth? To you? To a thief? What if you received an IRS tax bill for $6,200 for back taxes that you owe? What are you going to do? Do you even know what to do? Do you assume it will just go away with a simple police report? Everywhere you go, especially at community fairs and town hall meetings, consumers are expounding that there is little point in taking any protective actions because cybercriminals will get what they want anyway. That degree of apathy is exactly what cybercriminals depend upon, allowing them to use social engineering or lack of personal security measures to commit their crimes. It is critical that each person does whatever they can to keep personal identifying information away from those who may misuse it. Every security measure “in place” is one more wall the criminals will need to overcome.

Online Security

Oct 07

By Jay Foley, Executive Director, ITRC “Online” is now part of the everyday lingo heard everywhere you go – from the classroom to the boardroom. Most computers are constantly online, just the same as our cell phones and our personal digital assistants. Our children, friends and family are Internet-connected almost every day – for some it’s from morning to night. With our increased connected time, there comes the added threat of exposure to various dangers in our online activities. Here are some simple thoughts on reducing your risk to these various threats.

Cybersecurity and Social Engineering

Oct 05

By Sarah Zito, Victim Advisor, ITRC Oftentimes thieves find that hacking humans is easier than hacking computers. This is called social engineering. Social engineering has been used long before identity theft was a buzz word, and long before computers were invented. Social engineering is the act of manipulating and deceiving a person in order to have them perform actions or divulge confidential information (essentially a fancier, more technical way of lying). This is often times easier than a computer break-in using technical hacking techniques.