Protecting yourself from identity theft!
February 2, 2021
Howdy friends! It’s National Identity Theft Awareness week, so I want to take some time to give you helpful tips to keep your identity and finances safe and sound. Keeping your identity safe is one of the most important tasks we face as adults, and is quickly becoming increasingly more difficult as technology advances and hackers/scammers evolve. Below you will find things to watch for when your identity could be at risk, and you will find some suggestions and precautions you can take to avoid your identity and finances being compromised.
THE NEW NORM.
This past year has changed life as we know it for everyone. Many people are working from home, people are social distancing, and there are restrictions on where we can go and what we are allowed to do. These are just a few of the ‘new normal’ things we have had to embrace and adjust to in 2020 and into 2021. With these rising problems and new adjustments, there has also been confusion and an opportunity for hackers and scammers to prey on others. One of the first things I want to warn you about are job scams related to COVID-19. With many people out of work from the virus, it has become very popular and common for people to search for jobs online and criminals have caught onto this. There have been reports of criminals setting up fake websites and false web ads advertising jobs and having people apply by putting in their personal information. This is something to be very wary of during these trying times when so many of us are looking for jobs. There are a few ways to make sure you are actually applying on a legitimate website, applying to a real corporation or business, where your information is safe and secure. The first way is to check the URL of the website making sure it is the main website of the corporation or business you are applying. This will ensure you are not entering information on a phony site. Next, call the business and make sure they are taking applications for the position you are wanting to apply for. They can also give you the correct web address so you know you are on the correct website and won’t be giving away your personal information on an unsecure or incorrect website.
ONLINE SHOPPING & EMAIL.
Who would’ve thought that shopping online could ever prove dangerous? Well it definitely can! With record numbers of online shopping this year, scammers are really taking advantage of the opportunity to steal your information. Be wary of messages saying that you have been locked out of your account and must re-enter your information. If this happens, triple-check the webpage and make sure you are on the website you intended to be on and not a phishing site that looks very similar. Hackers will mimic webpages to look like the real ones with the hopes you will enter in your personal information.
Phishing emails are also being sent in record numbers this year trying to get you to click on links that will put viruses and malware on your devices that can steal your information right off of your computer. Please, please, please make sure you check the sender of the email and know where it is coming from before you decide to click on any links the email may contain. These emails could attempt to steal your usernames or passwords that can then lead to your personal identity information and even your personal finance information being stolen. So be wary about unsolicited emails that you are not expecting or used to receiving!
I hope you found some of these tips helpful and a little worrisome. Scammers and hackers really are out there and they will steal your information without a second thought. I really want all of you to be equipped and ready so you can realize when something like this is potentially happening and avoid a situation where your information is compromised. Please share this information with your family, friends and loved ones. Everyone should be aware of a few practices that can help keep their personal identity information safe and secure. Thank you for tuning in to my CASH the Mascot blog, I hope you found some of the information helpful and I hope everyone stays safe!