Showing posts with label Online Identity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Online Identity. Show all posts

The Real Cost of Identity Theft


The Real Cost of Identity Theft
It is no secret that having your identity stolen is something you should actively protect yourself against. Resolving an identity theft is time consuming, may cause you to have credit requests denied, and leaves people feeling personally invaded. However, many people do not realize that their finances could take a significant hit after one’s identity is stolen, often in surprising ways. Every situation is different and much of the damage is not easily quantifiable.  When thinking about the potential cost of having your identity stolen, consider the following factors:
  • Time – When your identity is stolen, there is a long list of tasks you must complete immediately, including filling out an identity theft report, freezing your credit and requesting copies of your credit report. This takes time, often a lot of time, which takes away from other activities, such as spending time with family or possibly working. You will also need to carefully review your credit report regularly for the next few years to make sure new instances of fraud do not show up.
  • Higher interest rates – Identity theft victims may see their credit scores drop over time after a thief hasused stolen personal information to open a loan or new credit account and thendefaulted on payments.  In the meantime, this means that if your car is totaled in an accident and you apply for a car loan, you may end up paying a higher interest rate due to your damaged credit score.
  • Loss of Opportunity Costs – In some cases, your credit may be so damaged that you cannot even get a loan after an identity theft, according to a survey conducted by the Identity Theft Resource Center. This means you may not be able to buy the renovated condo down the street that is a fantastic deal, but instead pay a higher price next year for a unit in need of an update.
The bottom line is that each time your identity is stolen, you will face unexpected costs, both in dollars and hours. The best solution is to take steps to protect your identity. And spending a small amount each month to help keep your identity secure and prevent widespread damage if fraud is detected can end up saving you a lot of time and money in the long run.

Safety Tips for Cyber Monday


Even if you survived the Black Friday shopping frenzy, it isn’t too late to make sure you protect yourself during Cyber Monday.  See 8 tips to ensure safe shopping online. 

  • Make sure your antivirus and malware protection software is up to date.
  • Update your browser.
  • Don’t click unknown links in your email.
  • Don’t use public computers and unsecured wireless connections.
  • Save or print all payment confirmations.
  • Use your credit card, not your debit card.
  • Update your passwords frequently.
  • Shop only on encrypted sites.  Websites that begin with “https” are encrypted, rather than just “http.”

 These tips should be followed during Cyber Monday (and really everyday) to help prevent identity thieves from accessing your personal information online.  Shop smart, and be safe!


Alert: Possible LinkedIn Breach


Today it was reported that there was a possible LinkedIn breach, and 6.5 million LinkedIn user’s passwords were leaked to a Russian hacker forum. 


Tip 1- If you are a LinkedIn user, you should change your current password. 


Tip 2- You should change any other account password that shares the same password as your LinkedIn account (as we pointed out on Twitter, our research indicates that this is a majority of folks).  For example, if you use the same password for LinkedIn and your online banking account, it may now be possible for these hackers to know both.  Protect yourself and change your password! 

Tips from the Street

Last week, TheStreet.com did a great job pulling together 9 tips for protecting your Online Identity.

There are 2 more I'd like to add to the list though.

First, I'd like to borrow one more from my bio to compliment this list: Beware of free public wifi. Don't use anything labeled as "free public wifi" to log into your email, social networking or online banking accounts. Thieves create and use these unsecured networks to swipe your logon credentials.

Second, there is seemingly an endless amount of quizzes and/or apps on social networks that ask you for personal information (find your Royal Name, or some such thing). Many of them divulge personal information that can be used to retrieve your account information. So please, be careful what you're sharing.

Posted by Christine