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Identity Theft Prevention

As we finish Identity Theft Prevention month, here’s one more tip! Keep your anti-virus and anti-spyware software up to date and run weekly scans. This is an easy way to protect your information and keep it secure. Here are a few more tips:

  • Beware of thumb drives, especially if you don’t know who they belong to! Malware programs can easily be loaded onto them, which you can then download onto your computer. You can also disable auto-run on your computers to prevent malware for automatically launching.
  • Call and speak with a human! E-mail “phishing” allows attackers to use e-mail to seem legitimate and gain access to your network. Avoid opening links and messages from unknown or suspicious senders, and never try to log in from an emailed link. It could be an attempt to steal your login information!
  • Activate your email’s “sender policy framework.” Hackers also use “spear-phishing”, or targeting people with public information usually gathered on the victims own internet presence. Attackers will then “phish” using emails sprinkled with individual or company specific information that makes them seem legitimate. A “sender policy framework” checks that you are only responding from messages from registered domain hosts, not cyber attackers.
  • Choose effective passwords! Your password should be easy to remember and at least 14 characters long, rather than a short, super complex password. Hackers can crack an 8-character password in as little as 24 hours, but 14+ characters could take up to 500 years!