Safety Begins At Home

Organizations and institutions constantly adapt to the latest cybercrime techniques. However, the first line of defense starts at home because identity thieves specialize in hacking personal computers.
1. Watch for Phishing: One of the most common techniques, known as phishing, involves receiving an email indicating your account has been compromised, that you need to validate your information, or that a complication exists with an order. Should you receive such an email, delete it and do not respond.
2. Verify Virus Alerts: Another common scam involves a fake “virus alert” with an 800 number to call for help. Do not call the number listed. If you feel concerned about virus threats, contact a known and trusted source, such as an authorized electronics service center. Comprehensive antivirus software doesn’t have to come at a high cost either. Check out the Zonealarm website to learn more about their free antivirus package.
3. Update Your Software: One of the easiest ways to protect yourself is to keep your technology updated. Hackers exploit the software vulnerabilities of outdated systems and programs. Those annoying software updates notify the user of software patches for the existing security holes. Set your system to auto-update to ensure that the updates come from a legitimate provider.
4. Beware of Phone Scams: Not all forms of identity theft occur online. As this article from 8bit Sumo explains, phone calls still remain an increasingly popular way to gather security information. Be suspicious of people asking for secure information over the phone, and if you do not recognize the caller, do not provide any information.