8 Tips to Prevent Fraud and Identity Theft

By Jesse Sokolow on 21 March 2018
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Everyone is vulnerable to identity theft but frequent travelers are even more so. With yet another data breach making the headlines on an almost bi-weekly basis, it pays to assess how vulnerable you are and take measures to limit exposure.

Remember, your personal information can be compromised in a number of ways, not just via a data breach. Criminals use social engineering techniques such as phishing and spoofing that cause some people to inadvertently part with user names and passwords as well as with their money.

Here follow eight tips that will lower your risk.

1.) Adopt multi-factor authentication on apps and websites that offer it. This is particularly important on financial and ecommerce accounts.

2.) Be wary of scammers using social engineering techniques. While some scammers have poor language skills, others exhibit pitch-perfect American accents and writing skills.

3.) In general, don’t permit remote access to your computer. There are exceptions, such as with a known hardware vendor that you yourself contacted, but keep in mind that hackers will attempt to gain access to your computer with pop-up ads that advise of a problem such as a virus on your device.

4.) Use online bill payment where available to avoid problems should your mail be stolen.

5.) Do not assume an e-mailed invoice or payment instruction is legitimate unless it comes from a known vendor specifying a pre-arranged amount. Call a known number to validate the transaction, do not use a number offered in the e-mail. Corporate controllers have been tricked out of billions of dollars that were unrecoverable.

6.) Don’t share user names and passwords, even with friends and colleagues.

7.) Where possible, don’t use personally identifying information as a user name or password.

8.) Consider setting up e-mail alias for different vendors you do business with, such as john-bank@abc.com or sarah-amazon@abc.com. If one e-mail address becomes compromised, you only have that one to change and update.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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