The beginning of the year is a great time to make sure that your INFORMATION is protected!
With each year that passes, we invite more connected devices into our lives. The “Internet of Things” also known as IOT, used to just include your laptop, smart phone, and maybe a DVR, but these days, everything is a smart device, from your toothbrush, to washing machine and even that digital pressure cooker we all love so much. Each one of these devices is connected to the internet and presents an entry point for a breach in your security.
Here are some tips to keep your home network secure.
Change the password for your home router and Wi-Fi –
Both your router and Wi-Fi come with a standard default password. All too often cybercriminals take over these devices using the factory default standard password.
Set up administrative (powerful) and non-administrative (everyday) user accounts in Windows – Don’t use an administrative account unless you need to install software. If you do, a hacker can hijack your machine and install malicious software.
Use complex and different passwords for each online account – This will minimize the chances that anyone will hack into any of your accounts. And by having different passwords, a breach on one account won’t lead hackers to your others.
Be sure your system is automatically applying patches – Not applying patches increases the likelihood that a weakness can be exploited.
Use antivirus software – This will help you to keep your system protected from intrusion.
Avoid suspicious websites and links –
Be careful about clicking on any hyperlinks and opening attachments. Emails and websites can be made to look like they belong to your bank or other legitimate organizations.
Don’t give out personal information – Many identity thieves will attempt to pose as a bank or credit card company employee over the phone. Even if you believe the call is authentic, it’s safer to hang up and call back using the phone number listed on bank statements or the back of your credit card.
Monitor your accounts and your credit report
– Checking for suspicious transactions on all of your accounts is an effective protection. You can also pull your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies at least once a year to look for fraudulent accounts opened in your name.
Set up fraud alerts – You can set up fraud alerts as part of your online account with JD Bank. The alerts will let you know about activity involving your accounts.
Now that your home network and devices are secure, how do you protect your identity?
Start with your Social Security number – It’s an important part of your identity, and you want to protect it in every way you can. For instance, remember never to carry your Social Security card with you in your wallet or purse. It’s too easy to lose. And if you lose your wallet, whoever finds it might have access not only to your Social Security number, but also to your driver’s license, which includes your full name, home address and date of birth. That information would give a thief what he might need to steal your identity.
Protect important documents that could be stolen from your home – Ensure your mailbox is secure. Shred documents containing personal information before you discard them. Some identity thieves steal from mailboxes and the trash to gather your personal information.
Restrict access to your living space – This may sound obvious, but consider repair people, house cleaners, caregivers and others you may not think twice about. Even a relative or friend with financial troubles might resort to identity theft. You don’t want to make yourself an easy target.
Consider a password manager – It will help you not only generate a unique password for each of your online accounts, but also to keep track of them on all of your devices. There are many different password managers to choose from. Check out online reviews to figure out which one may work best for you in terms of functionality and cost.
Cybercrime is a full-time job for most hackers, so your security in the digital world needs to be constantly monitored. By adhering to the tips mentioned above, you make yourself a harder target, and most cybercriminals will move on to exploit an easier target. JD Bank thanks you for your continued support and business.