How to Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft: Online Hackers

How to Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft

Zappos, a very large online retailer, had it’s system hacked into and accessed credit card information of 24 million customers. This is why all online users need to know the importance of taking proper precautions to protect yourself against identity theft and the steps to achieving this. We have put together some information on how to protect yourself against identity theft.

How to Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft

Change Passwords Often

It may be annoying to change your password often because you can’t even keep up with your current passwords. However, it is very important to do this twice a year or more per site.

Some people prefer to keep each change in “themes,” such as favorite ice cream flavors, favorite restaurants, or favorite hobbies.

If you can’t remember passwords easily, add them to your phone password protection app. Or, you can jot them down in a lockable diary or notepad and keep it in a safe place.

You can change your password to a completely new one, switch around your passwords from other sites, or you can just add a new variation to it.

Tips for Generating a New Password

The following are a few tips for generating a new password:

  1. Pick a password about something unique about you, such as your favorite ice cream flavor, the color of your bridesmaid’s dresses, or your favorite store to shop at.
  2. Add at least 2 numbers at the end of your password. Do not add the year you were born, a sequence number such as 1234, or any number that is in your username. You can use a number such as your high school or college graduation year, the year of your marriage, or your lucky numbers (unless of course any of these are in your username).
  3. Now, here’s the best part: take your new password and add variation.
    Example: turn “cookiedough1985” into “CoOkIeDoUgH1985” or “COOKIEdough1985”

    • Do not to use the same password for all sites. If you have the same passwords, it is the easiest way for hackers to hack into your sites because it’s less work to guess the right password. You can do either of these things:
      1. Keep a similar password but have a different variation of the password for each site.
        Example: “Irish44” and “IrIsH44” and “IRISH0440” and “IrisH0044”
      2. If you use have more than one favorite ice cream flavor (or whatever else), use each  for a different site.
        Example: “cookiedough679” and “rockyroad679” and “strawberry679”

Other Important Information

The following is other important information to keep in mind:

  • Always log off when you are done with the site.
  • Install and consistently update Antivirus software.
  • Caution: make sure your wireless network connection is secure.
  • Be careful who you give your password to. Try to keep it within the family, if at all.
  • Review and customize security settings for all of your sites. Default settings are usually not very secure.
  • Monitor your credit reports.

What To Do If Your Hackers Access Your Information?

Go to these links to determine your case and the appropriate contact information:

Warning: Several sites suggest to refrain from using Experian because you will be given a marketing pitch for their “free” credit management tools. If you forget to cancel the service within the 30 day trial, you will start to be automatically charged for the service.

These are just a few tips on how to protect yourself against identity theft. For more information, contact us at Centennial Arts with the link below!

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