Like days of old, today’s digital pirates are after one thing…money. Either money in your accounts, or money gained by using your identity. Unfortunately, every day, these pirates get smarter, as is seen with the recent Equifax security breach, which investigators just announced, has affected an additional 2.5 million Americans, for a total of 145.5 million people. It makes you wonder, if a company as large as Equifax, holder of some of our most precious digital information, can get hacked, how is the average consumer or business person able to avoid the effects of piracy?
Regrettably, despite the claims of some security software, there is no 100% foolproof way to protect yourself and your identity. It is a constant war, where the hackers and scam-artists continue to improve themselves and their techniques. Just like physical security measures, if an online thief is persistent, we will never eliminate all the potential breaches of security. However, similar to home alarms, cameras and safes, there are steps we can take to thwart the long-term effects of these pirates.
Some people are so afraid of the potential risks, they refuse to do any banking or input any personal information online. This, of course, is a pseudo solution. But, as seen with Equifax, you may not put your information out there, but others are, whether we agree or not. And, as our world becomes more digital, it is becoming more difficult to “stay off the grid.” Personally, I do everything online. Banking, bill paying, shopping, etc. It makes my life and business easier. But, I also am proactive in ensuring that my online activity is as secure as possible.
Here are some tips to help:
Obviously, this list is not all inclusive. As, mentioned, the pirates get craftier every day. However, if you are proactive in the protection of your information, you will have no, or only minor, long-term consequences. So, if you only remember one thing from this message, please let it be “verify first.” That one step will go a long way to protect you and your hard-earned money from digital pirates.
Until next issue…Best wishes in your endeavors!
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