Archives - Identity Theft

Don’t throw or give away a hard drive without really erasing it

When you delete something on your computer hard drive, it’s not really gone, just inaccessible through the normal user interface. To really get rid of it, you’ll need specialized software that overwrites the deleted data multiple times. Alternatively, keeping your old drives in storage instead of throwing or giving them away will also lower your […]

Run suspicious profile images through a search engine

If you’ve ever gotten a social media profile request or dating app picture you didn’t trust, you’re in luck. You can upload that image to Google image search or a similar (reverse image search) service to see if it’s been pulled from somewhere on the web and is putting you at risk of being scammed.

Revert your mobile phone to factory settings before giving it away

Thinking of recycling, trading or handing down your mobile phone? Make sure to do a factory reset (after backing up your data) so that the new recipient won’t be able to see anything you left behind.

Avoid using debit cards for online purchases

Credit cards usually offer some protection against identity theft and may limit the monetary amount you will be responsible for paying. Debit cards, however, do not offer that protection. Because the charges are immediately deducted from your account, an attacker who obtains your account information may empty your bank account before you even realize it.

Beware of requests to update or confirm your personal information

Most organizations – banks, universities, companies, etc. – don’t ask for your personal information over email. Do not reveal personally identifiable information online such as your full name, telephone number, address, social security number, insurance policy number, credit card information, or doctor’s name. Avoid opening attachments, clicking on links, or responding to email messages from […]

Beware cyber risks you may face when using social media

Don’t’ over share personal information on social media. Sensitive information includes anything that can help a person steal your identity or find you, such as your full name, Social Security number, address, birthdate, phone number, or where you were born.