Keep Your Personal Information Safe: A Few More Tips

Just a few tips to help protect yourself from identity theft and fraud. Thieves use a variety of methods for obtaining other people’s personal information to exploit for their own purposes. There is no guarantee that anyone’s information is 100% safe, no matter how careful you are, but you can do a lot of small things to reduce your risks of being a victim of fraud.

1.) Never click on links in emails or links on web sites that you don’t know or don’t trust. If you get an email from “your bank” saying you need to log into your account right away for any reason, but you aren’t sure the email is actually coming from your bank then don’t click on any links in that email. Open a new internet browser, type in the URL yourself and then log in to your account and make sure everything is as it should be. If a link doesn’t feel right, don’t click it.

2.) Don’t share your passwords, credit card numbers, social security numbers or any other pertinent information with anyone.

3.) Don’t write your passwords down anywhere someone could stumble upon them. It’s best if you don’t keep written records of your passwords, but with the amount of passwords people need now, it’s getting a bit more complicated to keep track of them all without writing them down.

4.) Never write your full account numbers on your checks when you pay your bills, especially when paying credit card bills, just write in the last four digits of your account number.

5.) Keep your credit cards and your passport in RFID communication blocking wallets.

6.) Switch over to paperless billing and statements. Pretty much everyone now-a-days offers paperless statements… banks, credit cards, house-hold billing companies. Having them all delivered to your email inbox instead of your physical address saves paper, postage and also eliminates the possibility of someone stealing your mail.

7.) Don’t broadcast that you are leaving town, or that you are out of town, on social networking sites. That is sort of like putting up a flashing neon sign over your house that says “no one is home and no one will be home for a while, so come on in and take what you want.” Wait until you return home from your trip to talk about it.

Basically the gist of everything I’ve written is: be careful with the personal information that you give out.

We all do a lot of shopping online which means we are all typing our credit card numbers into lots of different company websites. Make sure the company you purchase from is reputable. If something seems too good to be true, it is. There is nothing free in life. Massive discounts on normally very expensive items from shady online stores are more often than not going to cost you a lot more than you think.
~ K. McMillan-Ralph, TeCHS

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Electronic Pickpocketing

How safe is your information?

With every new and innovate way to try to secure everyone’s personal information, thieves are finding new and scary ways to get at people’s data. Items that you use every day and carry with you everywhere could be making you vulnerable to an identity thief.

All U.S. Passports, credit cards, I.D.s, driver’s licenses and debit cards, since 2006, are issued with RFID tags that contain all sorts of very personal information. RFID tags in these types of items contain your name, your address, your credit card number, and all sorts of other very important information that you do not want strangers knowing and that could lead you to being a victim of identity theft. The RFID tags in all of these things are constantly transmitting tiny blips of information even when there is no receiver in the vicinity.

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To someone with the right equipment, you are basically walking around with all of your pertinent information flashing over your head like a banner. The “right equipment” is also easier, cheaper and a lot more innocuous than one would think.

Pickpockets now-a-days don’t have to risk being caught with their hand in your pocket or purse because now they can purchase a simple credit card reader and a laptop and “lift” your information from your wallet just by walking past you. In a crowded place, like a sporting event or shopping mall, a thief can easily collect hundreds or thousands of people’s information in the span of a couple of hours all while looking like just another fan or shopper.

How can you protect your information from this kind of theft? Well, as crazy as it sounds, you can line your wallet with tin foil to help prevent the digital theft. If you prefer a nicer looking and slightly less “crazy-sounding” solution, any metalized nylon material will work nicely to disrupt the RDIF communications. Just do a quick Google search, there are plenty of companies out there that make very nice wallets, passport holders and clutches utilizing materials designed to block RFID.

~ K. McMillan-Ralph, TeCHS

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www.ezDigitalLife.com

Your Digital Life Simplified!

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