Don’t hand it out to just anyone. Your Social Security number, credit card numbers, and bank and utility account numbers can be used to steal your money or open new accounts in your name. So every time you are asked for your personal information – whether in a web form, an email, a text, or a phone message – think about whether you can really trust the request. In an effort to steal your information, scammers will do everything they can to appear trustworthy.
When internet fraudsters impersonate a business to trick you into giving out your personal information, it’s called phishing. Don’t reply to email, text, or pop-up messages that ask for your personal or financial information. Don’t click on links within them either – even if the message seems to be from an organization you trust. It isn’t. Legitimate businesses don’t ask you to send sensitive information through insecure channels.
- Use trusted security software and set it to update automatically.
- Don’t email personal or financial information. Email is not a secure method of transmitting personal information.
- Only provide personal or financial information through an organization’s website if you typed in the web address yourself and you see signals that the site is secure, like a URL that begins https (the “s” stands for secure). Unfortunately, no indicator is foolproof; some phishers have forged security icons.
- Review credit card and bank account statements as soon as you receive them to check for unauthorized charges. If your statement is late by more than a couple of days, call to confirm your billing address and account balances.
- Be cautious about opening attachments and downloading files from emails, regardless of who sent them. These files can contain viruses or other malware that can weaken your computer’s security.
No system is completely secure. Copy important files onto a removable disc or an external hard drive, and store it in a safe place. If your computer is compromised, you’ll still have access to your files.
TrackOFF Privacy software secures your identity and personal data online.
♦Online identity theft protection
♦Anonymous browsing with one-click
♦Keep your browsing history private
♦Stop ads from following you
♦ Real-time privacy threat detection
♦ Fingerprint-based tracking protection
♦ Advanced super-cookie removal
♦ Identity theft prevention
- “Management of Data Breaches Involving Sensitive Personal Information (SPI)”. Va.gov. Washington, DC: Department OF Veterans Affairs. January 6, 2012. Retrieved May 25, 2015.de
- Montjoye, Yves-Alexandre; César A. Hidalgo; Michel Verleysen; Vincent D. Blondel (March 25, 2013). “Unique in the Crowd: The privacy bounds of human mobility”. Nature srep.doi:10.1038/srep01376. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
- “Broken Promises of Privacy: Responding to the Surprising Failure of Anonymization”. SSRN 1450006.
- “Protection of personal data – Justice”. Ec.europa.eu. 2011-01-18. Retrieved 2012-10-23.
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