breach protection tips|
the holiday shopping season here, it’s important to protect ourselves online. Major data breaches have
been in the news regularly as thieves have made off with sensitive data from millions of consumers. By
being aware and taking precautions, we can prevent ourselves from being victims of cybercrime, hackers, ID
theft, viruses and more – especially while shopping!
A survey by CreditCards.com indicated that as data breaches exposing consumer credit, debit card and other
personal information become more common, nearly half of cardholding shoppers say they’re reluctant this
holiday season to return to stores that have been hacked. According to Vince Mazza, privacy advocate and
co-founder of Guard Street™, “You can’t depend on your favorite retailer to protect your information from
cybercrime, hackers, big data marketers and ID theft. You must actively manage your security and privacy.”
Street recommends five protection tips:
securely and anonymously
a secure virtual private network to shield cybercriminals and hackers from tracking your online activity
from your mobile device, desktop or laptop. Be wary of free Wi-Fi or VPN, it may cost you with a loss of
privacy. Use a disposable email address, like www.privacymart.com, should you need to enter an
email address to enter websites or gain access to information.
and think before sharing information
provide information if you are unsure about the legitimacy of the request. Be careful of links taking you
to sites that ask for your personal information. If an organization asks for your social security number
to validate your identity, request another question.
on top of your statements
credit card statements every month for any unauthorized charges and make sure to keep an eye on the
smaller charges. Thieves will charge smaller amounts to test to see if you notice and then charge larger
of email scammers
emails from scammers may mention big retailers who were hacked, including Home Depot, or they may offer
free credit monitoring – never click on these links! Many are fake sites that try to steal bank
information or passwords. Mazza indicated that, “If an email looks credible from a retailer, go to the
retailer's site directly instead of clicking on links.”
a clean machine
the latest security software, web browser and operating system are the best defenses against viruses,
malware and other online threats.
to Mazza, “Taking control of our privacy through protective measures gives you one less thing to worry
about so you can enjoy the holidays and protect yourself from those Grinch-like hackers!”
Guard Street, based just outside of Chicago, offers consumers packages of privacy protection tools that
create a personal data locking system. If you'd like to learn more about additional privacy tips for
securing your personal data, click here or call 1-800-517-4550.