How to Cyber Secure Your Life
Staying ahead of scammers is a full time job but by taking the offensive you can rest a little easier.
How to Cyber Secure Your Life
When it comes to scams offense is often the best defense. Rather than waiting for the criminals to target us there are several things that we can do to protect ourselves and keep our accounts and our homes protected.
ID Fraud Protection
For most of us our personal information has most likely already been stolen through one data breech or another. With that in mind here are 3 steps you can take to protect yourself against identity fraud.
1) Place a security freeze on your credit accounts with the three main credit bureaus so no one can open a new credit line in your name;
2) Establish online access to your financial accounts and monitor them regularly (you can typically set up text alerts for activity on these accounts);
3) Use unique passwords for every online account; consider purchasing a password manager that creates complex passwords and stores them securely.
Whole Home Protection
Securing our identity is one thing but we also need to make sure our home is cyber secure. So much of our home is connected to the internet – computers, gaming systems, TVs, smartphones and even appliances – each of these devices is a potential way into your wallet for a criminal.
To keep your home network cyber safe, follow these home security rules. Keep the operating systems, web browsers and security software on all your connected devices updated (use the device’s setting to make updates automatic). If your internet router has the same name and password it came with, change both. And engage your firewall – your operating system or antivirus software should come with a firewall that guards your system from uninvited sources; make sure yours is turned on, and that it also receives automatic updates.
"For most of us our personal information has most likely already been stolen through one data breech or another."
Two-Factor for the Win
One way to protect yourself from identity thieves is by opting into two-factor authentication. This means that to log in to a given site, you enter your password, and then are prompted to enter an authentication code. You either receive the code via text, phone, or email, or you use an app that generates the code. Once you enter that code, you are able to log in.
Two-factor is the safest way to login but it’s not fail safe. Never share your authentication code with anyone else and beware of any authentication codes sent to you that you didn’t request. If his happens change your password to that account ASAP.
Staying ahead of scammers is a full time job but by taking the offensive you can rest a little easier. Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.
The AARP Fraud Watch Network is a free resource for all. Learn how to proactively spot scams or get guidance if you’ve been targeted. Visit www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork or call our dedicated helpline to speak to a fraud specialist at 1-877-908-3360.
And make sure to tune into AARP Live on RFD-TV the third Thursday of every month for “Rural America Live – With AARP.”