4 Easy Tips on How to stay SAFE!
Some Sobering Statistics:
According to recent reports, every three seconds an identity is stolen online.
Nearly 10,512,000 identities each year are stolen online.
One study indicates that cyber crime has become a more popular and lucrative moneymaker than illegal drug trafficking. It is critical to know what to do to protect yourself from the cybercreeps trying to pick your pocket online.
It is estimated that as many as 1 in 5 people could become a victim of online identity theft.
If you believe your PC may have a virus or that your online credit information has been compromised, follow our SAFE steps to protecting your identity.
What to do if you think cyberthieves are after you:
S: Seek help. Call your PC support desk or seek out a local expert to assist you with your computer to find and isolate the virus.
Microsoft provides free virus and spyware removal support to Windows customers who think they have an infected computer.
Call: 1-866-PC Safety for phone support.
Online: Microsoft customers can also visit http://safety.live.com for
free online virus and spyware removal.
Apple provides help to computers users that believe their Mac may be infected.
Call: 1-800-APL-CARE (1-800-275-2273)
Online: Set up a phone appointment
request an in-person appointment at your closest
Apple Store’s Genius Bar:
A: Actively monitor your bank and credit card accounts. Look for suspicious charges, even if they are for very small amounts.
Tip: Most banks offer online alert services where you can set up alerts to notify you if a transaction takes place or if a transaction is over a certain amount. Go to your online banking page for more information.
F: Freeze Fraud: request alerts on your credit reports. Ask if your credit file can be frozen.
You are entitled to a free credit report once a year from all three agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Experts recommend that you space out your requests so you can have one from each at different times during the year.
North Carolina offers a free credit freeze for victims of identity theft and a nominal fee for people that want to request a freeze. Go to the following website for more information:
E: Engage authorities. If a theft has occurred, file a police report with your local police and file a theft form with the Federal Trade Commission.
Federal Trade Commission:
Call: 877-IDTHEFT or 877-438-4338
A fantastic resource to use is the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse which is a nonprofit organization that provides in-depth information on your legal rights and how to cope with the aftermath of being a victim.