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Tell us your best advice for protecting identity online

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve heard about protecting your identity online? Please share the ways in which you protect your identity online and learn tips from others below. 

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Newbie

Recently surfing the web I found a very unusual and what I will call invasive website called MyLife on the net and it is only one of many like it.  It was full of information about my husband and myself.  Problem is most of it was not information that was correct.  They ( Mylife ) had me down as single and had my middle initial wrong.  I sent the request to get the info for my husband and I taken off.   (Excellent article to tell you how to do this is at this link: https://bit.ly/2GVcasI ) They put a number on it from 1 to 5 for how "dependable" you are and they want people to comment on you like Facebook!  They give your name and age and what political party you are registered as. This gives all those disgusting telemarketers a way to find out if you are elderly and then get your phone number and email.  It is totally disgusting they can get your personal information this easily!  I have asked for our informaiton to be removed and I suggest that anyone that wants to keep this personal information from people who can use this to steal your information to do the same.  For a few $$$ they can get your phone number, email address, home address and other info.  This should be outlawed even though they say it is pubic information when there are senior citizens involved there is no reason for this info to be public!

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Limit your time on the net; the longer you are on, the better the chance of I.D. theft or a viral attack on your computer.

 

Beware what sites you visit; look for the "http" and other tags.

 

Be certain your software is up to date.

 

Scan for viruses daily.

 

Decline "free" offers of any type.

 

And, if something does happen, call your local sheriff's office and the State Attorney General's Office.  With details.

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Hello. 

 

To keep one safe online to check Email, social media etc...NEVER give your SS #, Phone number,

 

where you reside, and no bank information either...

 

Protect your self always...

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Last week I got a call from Social Security stating there were some type of fraud going on, I looked at the number they used to call me and then I ask questions like, who are you? What is your name? And I also said this is social security correct and he said yes he asked me for my social security number to verify if it is me. I then said to him if you were social security you would already know my number and then he hung up. Always get a name and their number and hang up. And then you can Google the information and they will let you know if it's fraud.

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Periodic Contributor

The Federal Trade Commission has excellent information on their website about protecting your identity and your children's identity:

 

http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/identity-theft

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I was a victim of fraud many years ago, so I have first hand experience unfortunately. Locking your credit won't protect you online, but it is an identity issue that could result if you do not take seriously, steps that will reduce your chances of having your identify stolen because of online internet access. To help minimize your exposure.. Protect your computer and web experience. There are quite few in the marketplace. Most of the good ones require a monthly or yearly subscription. The important thing is, there are many ways for you to get hacked when accessing the web, and online security is like a service. The more you scrimp, the more you increase your chances of being hacked. Go with nothing and your risking alot. A tool such as this will reduce the chances of vulnerability. Next, protect your web access at home. Learn about protecting your home network. In a nutshell, try to turn off the broadcast to your routers SSID or network name. Set up encryption for your network and password protect access to it. If you don't know what I'm talking about, that's not a good thing. Talk to an expert or research to learn more. Passwords. Use a complex password for all sites you register an ID for. Complex means the more characters you use the better. Make sure your passwords use a combination of lower and upper case letters, numbers and symbols if allowed. And, make sure you don't use common words. Mix up the characters so that there are no distinguishable words and use/subscribe to a password app/service such as Dashlane or 1Password or Lastpass, so that you don't have to worry about memorizing your password and more importantly, so it will make the process of creating complex passwords more convenient and safe for you, since you won't have to memorize them, or write them down! Never write them down anywhere....that's crazy. Password apps like these have counterpart apps for your phone, Mac or PC, so they'll be accessible and encrypted where ever you go. Protect your web access on travel and when you're out and about....like when you're using the Wifi at Starbucks or McDonald's. How? don't use them. Your session will be unprotected and in the clear for hackers to see. If you do need to access the internet while out and about, use Virtual Private Network (VPN) software or better yet, a VPN device to encrypt your public Wifi session. Or at the very least, use your phone or tablet and connect over your cellular account to surf the web instead of using Wifi. Again, don't know what I'm talking about, then talk to an expert or research to learn more. Understand these basic security topics more and you'll decrease (not eliminate) your chances of having your identity stolen. One last note in regard to credit locking.... Learn the difference between a credit lock and a credit freeze. Lock prevents access to your credit report, but you must file a lock request with all 3 bureaus (TRW, Experian and Equifax). A freeze locks access to your credit information period. Locks and freezes are not permanent so check with each bureau to see what options you have.
RetiredSyE
Periodic Contributor

By the way, on the "protect your computer" part at the beginning, I meant to be clearer on using a n internet security type app/software. Examples are Kaspersky, McAfee, Norton, etc. Good luck and safe surfing!
RetiredSyE
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It use to be that credit locks were easier to unlock than credit freezes, but that seems to have changed.

 

Update on credit freeze:

Credit freeze restricts access to your credit report. This makes it more difficult for thieves to open new accounts in your name.

 

Congress recently made credit freezes free. To set up your own credit freezes, you need to telephone, write, or go to the freeze page at each of their websites: 

Experian -- telephone: 888-397-3742, website: https://www.experian.com/help/

Equifax -- telephone: 800-685-1111, website: https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/      

TransUnion -- telephone: 888-909-8872, website: https://www.transunion.com/credit-help

 

You will be given a PIN that you'll need to remove the freeze in the future.

 

FYI -- In most states, the freeze will remain in place until you request the credit bureau to temporarily lift it or remove it. If you make the request online or by phone,  the credit bureau must lift a freeze within one hour.

 

Also, the Federal Trade Commision - Consumer Information has a lot of good information about protecting yourself and your children from Identity Theft: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/identity-theft

 

 

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Use complex passphrases.  Use different passphrases for different sites.  Change passphrases often.

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Periodic Contributor

Don't open Emails you do not recognize. These are often physhing exercises.  Have security software on but know hackers can break through. Keep your passwords private.

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Periodic Contributor

Closely monitor your financial accounts. Make sure you create your personal Social Security Account with the the Social Security Admin. even though you may not be drawing Social Security checks yet (each SS# can create only one, and by you creating one then scammers cannot use your SS# to create one & steal your money). Put a credit lock on yourself with the three major credit bureaus and remember to put the “unlock” code in a very safe place. Create strong passwords, and change them at least quarterly. Do not actively use Facebook. Shred any snail mail that you receive before tossing it.

Contributor

Add NOMOROBO.com if it available with your phone system, it's free for many land lines.
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Periodic Contributor

Avoid responding with confidentail information when using a piblic/ guest hotspot.

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Enroll in a good identity theft monitoring service that includes the black web, and provides you with access to monthly credit reports and FICO scores. 

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Wow, what copany monitors the blakc web? Thanks, Ralph

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Honored Social Butterfly


@AARPLynne wrote:

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve heard about protecting your identity online? Please share the ways in which you protect your identity online and learn tips from others below. 


Wear a face mask and rubber gloves.
  

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