Personal Security Awareness

It is a sad commentary on our society that we should even have to worry about our own personal security. Unfortunately there really are people who watch our every move, just to see if we will let our guard down, even for a moment. That is when they will make their move.

The buzz words are identity theft, ATM security, and Internet fraud, (more resources at those links) and there are many, many more scams with new ones coming to light all the time. However, lets just talk a little about being aware of those 3, some of the ways they work, and how we can combat them.

Identity theft can happen many ways. The risks are very real, however with the formation of a few judicious habits, we can go a long way toward prevention of this crime of opportunity.

  • Cut down on the number of credit cards you carry, and never give the number over the phone or Internet, unless you have purposely initiated the transaction.

  • Never give out your social security number.

  • Buy a paper schreder and use it to shred all personal trash from your home or business.

  • Never include address information on your key ring.

  • By very careful with the personal information you give to anyone you don’t know. It takes very little information for the unscrupulous people in our midst to start building their new identity to match you.

ATM Security

Internet fraud

  • Never open an email attachment from someone you are not familiar with, or were not expecting to receive.

  • Never give personal information on a web site if you did not initiate the contact via a link you have used to contact that company before. I get at least 1 or 2 scam emails a day, that look exactly like the real thing. No matter how convincing they sound, almost no legitimate company or financial institution will ever send you an email asking for account numbers or any other personal information. Most will not ask you to clink a link within that email. If they ask you to contact them, be sure you enter a link you trust.

  • If you accept credit cards over the internet, be very wary of multiple orders from the same person using different cards. They are almost always stolen.

Admittedly these are just starting points. View some of the sites and resources on the individual pages for more tips on avoiding these crimes, and what to do if you are a victim.

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