You’re thinking, I'm not a millionaire, so why would cyber criminals want my information?
Ahh, but that's where you're wrong. Criminals purchase your information so they can profit off your identity. After stealing your identity, now they open loans and obtain new credit cards so they can make large purchases.
Now the financial institutions expect you to pay back this money.
Now as the victim you have the responsibility to prove it was not you.
This painful process can take weeks, months, and maybe even years for you to try and restore your identity and your good credit score.
Now don’t panic, there are simple steps to protect yourself. Now we know there is no way to completely protect your private information, but there are precautions for reducing the risks.
- Protect your PII before giving it to anyone. Find out why they need it and if they really need it.
- Review your financial data and transactions for any suspicious activity.
- Check your credit report on a regular basis.
- Install security software, such as firewall, anti-virus, anti-spyware software and keep them up-to-date.
- Invest in a password vault software to help with having strong passwords for all of your online accounts
- Shred paper and electronic documents containing personal or financial information.
- Use updated Web browsers to take advantage of their current safety features. Use alternate browsers, which may lower risk of malware attacks.
- Stay alert! Be wary of e-mail attachments and links and scams, especially ones in e-mails and social media.
- Do not give your family members "administrator" permissions. The administrator account should not be used to surf the Internet.
- Check your social media account privacy settings on a regular basis to ensure software updates do not change your settings. Do you really need to have the public know everything about you.
Teach the family to “Stop” before clicking, “Think” (does this site or individual really need my information or is the deal too good to be true?) before you “Connect”!
Check back to see how EUCOM is working with Stop.Think.Connect. to make the Internet a safer place for everyone by visiting our website http://www.eucom.mil.
To learn more, visit www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect.