Protect your Identity
The act of deliberately using someone else’s Identity is known as identity theft. Identity theft is a growing problem that affects thousands of individuals annually. Always be aware of new ways in which you are at risk for identity theft.
How do I prevent Identity Theft?
Identity theft can be prevented by not giving away unnecessary information. Sometimes it occurs as a result of negligence. To minimize the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft, there are some basic steps you can take.
- Verify that your computer is protected by Antivirus software
- If you use a laptop for business or personal use, ensure that it is encrypted. That way, if it is stolen, the information contained on that machine is more difficult to retrieve
- Protect your various accounts with a strong password and change it on a regular basis
- Never click links in suspicious emails and don’t open attachments from untrusted senders
- Don’t respond to emails requesting your personal or account information
- Always look for the “security lock” icon before supplying credit card information on any website
- Do not input personal information on a computer in a public place, like a library, coffee shops, etc.
These are some additional steps you may consider while dealing with non-digital information.
- Be suspicious of any email message that asks for confidential personal information either through replying to the email or through a web site link.
- In some cases phishing emails will include a link to an external web site. The link may look very familiar and legitimate, however when you hover the cursor over the link, it may show an unknown web site.
- These emails may contain generic greetings such as “Dear User” or “Hello Email User” or sometimes no greeting at all.
- You should also look for phrases like “Verify your account”, or “During regular maintenance”, or “will result in account suspension” or “foresters.com contract” or “still no response from you yet...” or “internal attack – security statement”.
- The email messages are designed to give a sense of urgency to get recipients to react immediately and provide sensitive information.
- Remember, phishing emails may also contain official company logos in an effort to fool users.
How do I protect myself from Phishing scams?
- There are some good security practices that can help to protect your information:
- Protect your personal information
- Use Anti-virus software
- Protect your internet connection
- Keep Web-browsers and software up-to-date
- Backup your data
Protect Your Personal Information - Do not respond to unsolicited emails or website popups asking for your personal information. Foresters will never ask you to disclose sensitive information such as your password, SIN number, bank account details, security questions, etc. through such methods.
Use Anti-virus software – A computer virus is malicious software that can copy itself and infect computers. These malicious programs come in a number of forms including Viruses, Worms, Trojans, Spyware and others. Many computer viruses can be prevented by using Antivirus software and ensuring it is kept up to date.
Protect your Internet Connection – Computers connected to the Internet may pose more risks than computers not always connected to Internet. Although we may think that no one would be interested in our personal computers, but malicious hackers around the world can scan your computer and steal personal information. They can also use your computer to attack other computers on the same network. If you don’t need to use the Internet then it is a good idea to disconnect the computer from the internet connection. It is also important to avoid sharing your files and folders on the network. To help prevent malicious hackers who may try to exploit your computer, switch on the Firewall in your computer.
Use Secure Browsers – Web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Chrome, etc. are installed on many computers. It is important to setup web browsers securely. As detailed below, some specific web browser features need to be configured to secure your internet browsing.
- How and What to Backup - Backing up is easy if you set your folder structure properly. It's faster and easier to back up if all your files and subfolders are organized in a single parent folder.
- When to backup – depending on how frequently your files are getting changed. You may backup on a weekly or even daily basis.