Is Smart Technology Putting You At Risk?

Written by
May 3rd, 2012

Identity TheftAccording to the Wall Street Journal, 12 million Americans got hit by identity fraud in 2011, a 13% increase from 2010, due in part to the growing use of social media websites and smart phones.

WSJ explains that 7% of smart phone owners became identity fraud victims in 2011! Why? Because smart phones are mini computers that store your personal information. Many people aren’t protecting the information the same way they would their personal computers!

How to avoid identity theft:

  • Pay attention to security breach notifications.
  • Watch your credit cards and bank accounts.
  • Don’t give out your social security number unless it’s a must!
  • Keep your anti-virus software up to date on all devices –don’t forget your phone!
  • Put a password on your phone & computer and make it a strong one. Mix up the letters and numbers and make it difficult! It may be inconvenient initally but it takes victims about 30 hours and $500 to resolve identity fraud.
  • Be careful what you’re telling your “friends” on social media websites and who the information is available to! Scammers could be reading when you’re going on vacation or collecting your personal data (dates of births, mother’s maiden names, addresses etc.) We suggest using a different birth year that your real one, if its necessary on the site.
  • Be careful what personal information you store on your devices and if you can — don’t store it.
  • Leave your un-needed credit cards, social security card, birth certificate, and passport at home.
  • Make sure you know who is on the other end of a call when you’re giving out your personal information before you give it out.
  • Where there’s smoke – there’s fire; if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is a scam.

We have a desire to be a part of these social media sites, it’s the place to be and we throw caution to the wind to get there. Always remind yourself about protecting your personal indentifiable information, and if you can, teach someone younger than yourself the same thing.

Wisconsin residents, if you would like more information on protecting yourself from identity theft, please contact knowledgebroker Kori Cumley.


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