To help consumers “DEFEND” themselves against cyberthieves, Experian’s ProtectMyID and Identity Theft Expert Chuck Whitlock offer the following tips:
- Defy curiosity. Never open an attachment or click on a link unless it’s something you’ve specifically requested from someone you know. Just because an email is from a friend or a coworker doesn’t make it free of malware. Click the “x” on all pop-up ads to avoid infection, and never download free software unless it’s from a trusted site.
- Educate yourself about technology. Become tech-savvy: Know what security software you need to keep your computer — and yourself — safe online. Don’t let down your guard by letting your protection lapse. Always keep your antivirus and spyware protection updated.
- Fix your passwords. Using the same password for more than one account or a password that’s easy to guess opens the door to identity thieves. Change passwords regularly, never disclose them to others and vary them among different accounts.
- Embrace your paranoia. Yes, there are people out there who are out to get you. Don’t forget it.
- Negate putting personal information online. You wouldn’t provide your personal identifiers to just anyone on the street who asks for them, so don’t do it online. Become as proactive in protecting your personal, private information online as you are in other areas of your life. Don’t even think of doing anything of a personal nature on a public computer. Remember that posting personal data on social networking sites makes you a target for identity thieves.
- Deploy safety precautions. Online fraudsters are constantly changing their tactics, making it hard to stay abreast of every new scheme. Frequently monitor your accounts and financial statements, and check your credit reports at least once a year. Consider using ProtectMyID.com, an identity theft protection program that can provide additional peace of mind.
To find out more information about ProtectMyID or ways to protect yourself from identity theft, visitwww.protectmyid.com