Data Breaches: Safeguard Yourself
From Your Friends at Integrity Computer Consulting and Repair
A constant reminder: people are always wanting to steal your information. Please take a moment to refresh on our best practices:
We recommend you do as many of the following to help safeguard your information:
- Cash is king! Pay with cash when buying goods locally. The fewer instances of your card information being available to retailers, the less likely it is to be stolen.
- Use Paypal (they have great security features and anti-fraud measures; they also protect your purchases with dispute resolution).
- If you have the opportunity to opt-out of saving credit card information, do it. Do now allow sites to save critical financial information unless it is absolutely necessary.
- If you can check out as a guest and opt-out of creating an account and saving your information, do it.
- If you can opt-out of providing personal information, do it. From grocery stores and online retailers to doctor's offices and cell phone providers, they are all hungry for your information. Always ask what information is absolutely necessary when filling out paperwork or online forms. Use only the information that is required and nothing more.
- Opt-out of providing your phone number unless it is absolutely necessary, you can opt-out altogether or use a dummy number instead. The vast majority of Microsoft imposter calls, and solicitation calls in general, are coming from phone lists that are legally purchased.
- Be aware of where you are ordering from online. If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. Purchase only from verified sellers.
- If you are using a site that requires an online account, make sure your password is secure even if the site you're logging into does not require it. We recommend using a combination of upper and lower case letters, with numbers AND special characters, and not using any recognizable words. For example, a password of "Ilovedogs" can be made more secure by changing all the vowels to look-alike numbers and special characters, breaking up the actual words into something more secure: !L0v3d0Gs.
- Get into a habit of changing your password on a schedule (especially if it is a site that houses financial information or credit card numbers), even though it is a pain, we recommend changing passwords every 30 days. Write down your passwords and keep them in a safe place.
- Do not use the same password for every site. Make each password different (even if it is off by one or two characters) and keep a record of it.
- Do not click on links or open attachments in emails unless you are 100% sure they are legitimate. If the email has a link you can mouse over it, a little box will show you where it is taking you. If it does not align with the stated destination, do not click it.
- Check your bank account/statement frequently. Report fraud immediately.
- Check your credit report yearly. Report any suspicious credit activity immediately.
If you need help with anything listed above, this can be done remotely. Please call our office (208-288-4345), or email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions or need immediate assistance!