Identity theft is the illegal use of someone else’s personal information in order to obtain money or credit. Identity theft can happen to anyone in any location across the country.
Take simple steps to protect your online identity by:
- Locking and password protecting your computer and cell phone.
- Not sharing specific personal information online, such as your full name or birthday.
- Setting proper privacy settings on social networking sites.
(Tips provided by Stop. Think. Connect. (Department of Homeland Security)
Help Protect Your Family’s Identity
The more time that your children spend online, the more opportunities they will have to share information about themselves. Talk to your children about the information that they should never share without your permission, including Social Security numbers and credit or debit card numbers. Then, visit the FTC’s website to learn more about how to better protect yourself and your family, and how to file a complaint.
- Never share your password or account numbers over an e-mail or instant message.
- Do not follow links from e-mails when conducting financial transactions; instead, enter the URL yourself.
- Be wary of callers, pop-ups, websites, or e-mails asking for personal information.
- Look for “https” or a picture of a lock before purchasing from a website or giving out information on that website.
- Create secure passwords and change them often.
- Never download software from a source you do not trust or open e-mails or images from unfamiliar senders.
- Install firewall, anti-spyware, and antivirus software, and update it often.
- File a report with law enforcement and notify creditors if there is an incident or a suspicion of identity theft.
(Tips provided by Netsmartz.com)