Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The 4 R's of ID Fraud (part 2)

   As promised, in this post we'll wrap up the series about ID Fraud.  Check here if you'd like to see the first 3 parts of this series, and the first half of this post.

   So far we've focused on what ID Fraud is, and in the third installment, the steps you should take now if you are a victim.  As we've discussed, having the information for one of your credit cards grabbed in an attack such as we saw on Target or Home Depot doesn't automatically mean you will have other ID Fraud related problems.

   But we should all take steps to reduce our exposure and the odds that our ID and financial information will be fraudulently used... or at least increase the odds that we'll notice any problems quickly.

   We'll continue with the 4 R's: Review, Reduce, Record, Report. (unlike the 5 D's of dodge ball! :-)

Reduce - the amount of information you give out online.
  • Use care when emailing personal information.  Don't unless you need to.  Provide a minimum amount of information. Use encrypted email if it's available.
  • Choose passwords and hints that are not based on personal information.
  • Don't "click here to unsubscribe" from a spam or unwanted message - it just let's them know you exist.
  • Shop online with reputable or known vendors.
  • Delete doesn't really delete.
  • Use malware protection on your home computers and devices.
  • And a bonus tip for online - watch out for Phishing messages.  That's a big topic that I've covered in the past, and probably will revisit as scammer techniques evolve.