File Encryption Can Help Reduce the Risk of Identity Theft
Identity theft is one of the most damaging crimes today, one that is increasing at an alarming rate. Victims have been completely ruined, spending months to years restructuring their lives. Fortunately, there are a few simple precautions that can be taken to reduce the risks and keep your personal data secure.
Put Your Personal Data Under Lock and Key
Protecting your identity means taking identityiq trial strategic steps to keep thieves at bay. There are 10 essential tips to implement that will help you elude identity theft:
- Protect your Social Security number – Thieves can inflict a wide range of damage with your Social Security number by opening credit card accounts, receiving medical benefits, and even getting criminal violations in your name.
- Invest in a crosscut shredder – Always shred all of your old bank account and credit card statements. When simply throwing them in the trash, your financial data is at the mercy of “dumpster-divers,” who are thieves who don’t mind sifting through your garbage in search of valuable information.
- Never give away personal data via email – The internet is full of scams, most of which originate through the email system. There is a new scam called “phishing,” involving con artists attempting to gather confidential information via email. These messages often appear genuine, and the best advice is to never respond with your details. You can always contact your financial institution directly, asking if they need the requested information.
- Never give away personal information over the phone – Unless you initiated the contact with a company you trust, personal details such as credit card numbers and bank account details should never be given away over the phone.
- Look over your shoulder – Always keep a watchful eye when shopping out in public or working at the desk. Someone could be peeking over your shoulder when you are writing that check, punching in your PIN number, or typing data into the computer.
- Frequently check your bank and credit card statements – If someone has obtained your sensitive information, your financial statements are where you can typically spot the irregular spending. If you react quickly, there may be a chance to significantly reduce the damage.
- Ask before you give – When requested to give out personal information in the workplace or a medical facility, always ask about the security procedures and how the information will be used. Often times, you do not have to give away your SSN to medical or professional services.
- Install anti-malware software – Virus protection is no longer enough; spyware and sophisticated Trojan programs pose more of a direct threat to your identity. Anti-malware software will scan your system and help to keep these internet infections away.
- Install a firewall – Computer hackers pose a serious threat to the data on your computer; perhaps they’re trying to break in right now. Hence the name, a firewall will help prevent intruders from cracking into the system and accessing your information.
- Protect your data with file encryption software – Once used strictly as a military security mechanism, encryption is now available for public use. This technology encodes data with a cryptographic key, preventing intruders from gaining authorized access.
Anyone can be a victim of identity theft as today’s criminals have no preference. However, encrypting your files can help reduce your risk. There are a variety of file encryption solutions capable of building a virtual fortress on your computer. These programs work quickly and provide security for your desktop or laptop computer, flash drive and other removable storage media. Protecting your files doesn’t have to set you back, as most programs are can be found for $20 to $40, with most offering a free trial. There are even some free programs available as well, although they tend to be a little more complicated to use and are often lacking in documentation and support.