How To Protect Yourself
From Identity Theft and PC Hackers
By Sandra Wellman
theft is rampant these days, and the best way to avoid being a
victim is to protect your self in any and all ways possible. You
may be aware of some information here, but not all, so please read
on, print this article, then implement everything and check mark
off when completed. Youíll feel safer and more in control.
are two lists here for you, online and offline protection.
with a criss-cross shredder, everything that has your date of
birth, social security number, signature, bank acct #, credit card
#, tax ID#, balance transfer checks (unless of course you are
planning on using them), credit card applications, etc. I donít
go crazy here with mail that just has my name and address on it
because thatís public info, easy to get and it would be a part
time job to do it! Be
careful with some credit card companies who have
sales/loan/special interest acct information on pages behind your
normal account info pages. Often these pages have your full account
number on them. Be sure to shred that part of it.
Paper Shredders at Amazon.com
it takes to run your credit report is your name, address, social
security number and date of birth.
Do not give your date of birth to anyone you donít have
to. Never give your motherís real maiden name to anyone except your
back and credit card company. If they insist on one, and itís
not a large institution, use a fake one; just pick something
youíll remember and use it for any other accts that require one.
not carry your social security card with you. Preferably, keep it
in a safe at home or safe place no one would look. Donít give
the number to just anyone.
carry all your credit cards in your wallet at the same time. Keep
only the necessary ones in it.
you called the company directly yourself, do not give people over
the phone, who claim to be from a certain company, any info
without getting some proof first.
If the fraud dept from your credit card
company calls you, call them back via the number on the back of your
credit card and get transferred to the fraud dept.
Click here for the
credit card phone scam.
Mozilla Firefox as your Internet browser 98% of the time rather
than Internet Explorer. Itís safer. You'll get less spyware and
it comes with an automatic pop-up blocker, but allows you to click
one button to allow it when you want. It's free, see below. Occasionally, some websites
are programmed specifically just for IE, so you donít have much
anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-keylogger software, a
Spoof Stick on your pc. Many ISPís will give you the first 2
listed free. You should use at least 2 anti-spy ware programs. I
use 3 and rotate my scans. I also use 2 anti-virus programs, one
paid for and one free, one anti-keylogger and one thatís included in my anti-spyware.
You can get Spoof Stick free, by downloading it from the Internet,
but unless you remember to use it, itís worthless.
STOPzilla - Free Spyware Detection
what Spoof Stick will do; when you go online and click, type or
paste a URL (web site address) in your browser window, Spoof Stick
will show you what web site you are really on, on the top right of
the window. There are
hackers that make sites that look like the real thing, to try to
get your information or infect you with viruses and Trojan horses.
Once, they copied the Microsoft Update web site and I didn't know
about spoofing and got a virus, so beware. They may send you an email with a link in it saying they need to
verify information regarding an account you have. This is called
spoofing or phishing. You may actually have an account where they
say you do, but itís probably not a real email from the company.
Donít click on the links in it. If you think itís real, type
in the company URL you would normally use into your browser.
Verify with spoof stick you are on their site, in case they got
hacked, and if everything looks ok, log in and see if they really
need something from you. Get in the habit of always looking at
Spoof Stick to verify the web site you are really on.
It's free too.
a key logger you ask? Well, they hack your computer, and can track
your keyboard strokes, trying to get passwords to your accounts,
and your personal information, so they can steal your money and or your identity. Always use the
secure random keystroke (SRK) option if there is one. This is a
separate keypad you use in a separate window to click on the
letters and numbers of your passwords. Key-loggers cannot track
If you pay your bills online, buy a lot of stuff online
or pay bills online, you
might consider investing in anti-keylogging software, see link below.
Peace of mind when online banking, shopping, social networking. Get the Data Protection Suite for $29.99 Ė thatís 40% off RRP
use the same passwords for everything! Depending on how many
online accts or private membership sites you have, you may use
duplicates for a few, if thereís nothing really sensitive about
the information in them. Always use separate ones for banks,
credit cards or online accts like Paypal, e-gold etc.
Use combinations of letter and
numbers, not words that are easily figured out. Donít use your kids
or pets name, your anniversary, birthday or anything other people
know. Do not keep the actual passwords written out or typed on your
pc. If you have too many to remember them all, as I do, write down a
coded version of it and a coded version of the acct name and donít
title the page!
know itís difficult and time consuming to do all these things,
but well worth it to avoid having your pc hacked and/or your
stolen. If you do, read my article on what to do and what not to
Identity theft. Credit fraud. Medical fraud. TrustedID offers a $1,000,000 warranty to keep you safe. Try it free.