Author Archive for Neddy Larson

Public Computers and Non Secure Access

Using non-secure Internet Wi-Fi or shared public computers that you can find in public libraries, hotel lobbies, car dealer waiting areas and other public spots sure can be convenient, but using them does come with some risks.

Free wireless Wi-Fi networks are not password protected and are not secure connections. You should be cautious when you are using them.

Since you are sharing these networks with others, it’s possible that someone could be snooping into what you are doing.

You should limit your exposure by keeping your usage to just casual Web browsing and not visiting important sites that require you to log in with a password.

And don’t access financial or serious sites, like your bank account, from one of these hotspots or public computers.

If you are prompted to update software while you’re on one of these public networks, don’t do it. Just wait until you get home to run any updates.

When you travel, it’s not a bad idea to ask the hotel front desk for the name of their Wi-Fi system. ID thieves have been know to put up fake networks while they are staying at a hotel and then try to trick other guests into logging into their network instead of the hotel’s network.

Shared public computers carry the added risk of containing malware or keystroke logging software that bad guys have installed on them.

You can certainly use these PCs for casual browsing, but just don’t log in to any website where you really want to keep your password a secret (just in case).

Keep Accounts Up To Date

It’s important that every financial institution that you do business with has your correct contact information.

This includes banks, investment companies, insurance companies, retailers where you have charge cards, former employers that you have retirement accounts with, and any other important organization.

By having your current physical address, email address and phone number, these organizations will let you know when a change to your account has been initiated.

Companies will send you an email or physical email stating that your email, physical address or phone number has been changed and let you know how to reply to them if this change was not authorized by you.

You need to make sure that you are in a position to receive any correspondence from these organizations regarding fundamental changes to your account.

If someone is trying to change the contact details of one of your accounts, you need to know about it and stop it.

Keeping your contact info up to date will make sure that you are notified.

Safeguard Important Papers

Keep important papers and personal identity items safe from theft.

Some financial documents, passports, extra credit cards and other important papers should be kept in a safe place in your home where they cannot be easily stolen.

While the back of your sock drawer might be handy, the best spot in your home would be a fireproof safe that is secured to the floor.

Don’t have one of those? Well, you’ll have to come up with a different spot. The worst hiding spot will be one that is really easy to guess and close to an outside door.

If you have roommates or other people in your home a lot of the time, you may want to invest in a bank safety deposit box. They aren’t that expensive. Many bank branches do not offer safety deposit boxes, but some of the older ones do.

Your goal is to simply make it harder for the theft of these items to occur. You want to protect these documents from the casual thief.

Most amateur thieves aren’t interested in anything that isn’t cash or can be easily exchanged for cash, but if they see a credit card or passport lying around, they’ll grab that as well.

Wherever you decide to keep your important stuff, there is one more thing you need to do. You need to let one or more family members know where it is.

If it’s a safe, they need to know the combination. And if it’s a safety deposit box, they need to know where the key is.

And don’t forget about protecting your stuff when you’re away from home. You need to be careful at work too.

When you’re at work, try to either lock up your purse or keep it as safe as possible. Don’t leave anything valuable or interesting out in the open that might tempt someone to take something.

Don't Let ID Theft Happen To You
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