Protecting Yourself From Online Computer Virus Attack and Personal Identity Credit Card Data Hacking

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business tips to prevent online identity theft as owner of small business office

Preventing Identity Theft As A Business Owner
By Jacob Burns

However, in a new twist of events, consumers are no longer the only people affected by identity thieves, as businesses have now become prone to the development in the criminal enterprise of business identity theft with quite a number of businesses losing a lot of revenue in the process. What usually happen is that, a criminal will hijack the identity of a particular business and use it to establish a string of credit with banks and other lenders.

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This in turn leads to a damage that can be very devastating to the victim's business. A business could risk having a spoilt credit history therefore raising the chances of being denied credit, a move that will definitely paralyze your operations. Anyone looking to protect their businesses from identity thieves should ensure they have good privacy protection system.

After a number of businesses reported huge losses due to this, many business owners have turned to seeking help on how to keep their businesses safe from the business identity thieves. Some effective guides have been put in place to ensure consumers and the businesses are thoroughly combating the menace to avoid and reduce the threats businesses face from identity theft. Below are ways which businesses use to prevent identity theft.

Protecting Business Records and Data.

As much as business identity theft is a high-tech crime that affects those shopping, communicating and doing business online, most business identity thefts takes place offline. Some of the common tactics used by these frauds includes stealing wallets and ladies' purses, interrupting or rerouting mail and going through garbage so as to obtain sensitive information.

To counter this and ensure privacy protection, most businesses today maintain records that are important to run their operations and totally shredding all the unnecessary documents or records. However, while doing this it is advisable to put any document that you must keep in a very secure location. This guarantees businesses their privacy protection and ensures smooth running free from identity thieves.

Protecting Their Businesses Online.

Technology has eased life with the introduction of a couple of online services that makes our lives much easier and better. Many people do a lot of their transactions online today. However, caution is advised for businesses which strive to secure their identities. Most of them have resorted to not sharing their financial documents, sensitive personal information or account numbers via platforms like e-mails or any other web-based services.

This has proved to be helpful for many business owners as their financial privacy protection is sorted, therefore running smoothly without having to worry about business identity thieves.

Monitoring Activity.

Actually, this goes without saying, anything that you do not keep your eye on, will definitely face some external disturbance. Therefore, the best method to detect possible identity theft is to be aware and monitor activities around your business. Most businesses do this by monitoring their credit reports more often. Some businesses have gone a step further and registered, rather signed up for    []credit monitoring service. Among ways to ensure your privacy protection, this is among the most effective.

Protecting Customers.

When thinking about protecting yourself from identity theft, a business should also consider doing the same for the personal and sensitive information of its clients. By protecting their customers, businesses today have experienced less identity theft because, by protecting their customer's privacy, it keeps them safe as there are no loopholes. Customers can at times be the targets of the identity theft putting both them and the business at risk.

Watching out For Phishing Scams.

Many people have fallen prey to scams and lost quite a lot of money to fraudsters who trick people into divulging their confidential personal and business account information e.g. account number, passwords and user names. Businesses have therefore become alert on such and are avoiding any persuasions to click or open up any attachment in emails as doing so could connect them to fraudulent websites or causing a spyware to be installed in their computer therefore putting their privacy protection at risk.

Subscription to Email Alerts.

There are many genuine online platforms that offer free email alert services that can notify one when business registration information has been changed or updated. Many businesses have embraced the idea and have enrolled for such services because it provides them with early warnings of potential fraud. Using email alert has improved business operations since business owners are notified of any fishy transactions on the go and can therefore quickly act on them, saving their business great deal of money and reputation.

Filling Annual Reports and Renewals on Time.

On top of the administrative risk of dissolution of a business for failure to file, business identity thieves are on the lookout for businesses that are classified as suspended, inactive or in default. These crooks believe that if a business fails to keep up with normal annual business filling, then they will not realize when information has been changed until it is too late. Businesses are countering this by ensuring they file their returns well in advance to ensure their privacy protection.

Many businesses have counted major losses following attacks by business identity thieves who give them sleepless nights. In a bit to recover from the losses, most of them hike prices so as to cover for the cost of ensuring smooth operations, in terms of both the business and consumer's privacy protection. This has led to incessant cases of hiking that has instead turned consumers into victims of high product prices. The cost of business identity theft costs businesses across the world an estimated $221 billion in a year therefore becoming the newest threat to both small and big businesses around the globe. However, following the few ways we have listed above, business owners are able to dramatically reduce the chances of experiencing business identity theft.

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Article Source: [] Preventing Identity Theft As A Business Owner

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how to avoid being victim of online offline identity theft

Prevent Identity Theft - Tips To Avoid Becoming A Victim
By Abhishek Agarwal

Being a victim of identity theft is a traumatic, heart-breaking experience. No one wants to go through it. Here is some advice that may help you protect your personal financial information and your credit rating.

In a 2004 study, the Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives reported that, in 2003 alone, almost 10 million Americans had become victims of identity theft. The crime cost consumers about $5 billion out-of-pocket and costs American business around $50 billion. As increasing news reports indicate, identity theft is the crime of the era. It's increasing rapidly. Unfortunately, it's also a difficult crime to catch and prosecute.

In 2003, victims of identity theft spent anywhere from $500 to $1200 and from 30 to 60 hours of their personal time trying to resolve the financial problems created by identity theft. Further, the crime itself occurred over a three- to six-month period in each known case.

We all hope we never become victims of identity theft. For one thing, you usually don't learn you're a victim until some debt collector calls you about a bill or a loan application is denied because of your poor credit history or low credit score. This news comes as a shocking surprise to most victims of identity theft, and the personal agony of financial loss and effort needed to resolve the problem take a huge toll. Identity theft victims often report they feel as violated as they would if they had been mugged or their house had been burglarized.

Today, prevention and early detection are best solutions to the identity theft problem. These criminals have a variety of ways to get your personal financial information. They may steal it from your garbage in the form of old bills or pre-approved credit offers. They may trick you on the phone or by e-mail into giving out your personal information. Someone you know and trust may have access to your personal information. Or perhaps someone with good eyesight is standing behind you, watching you enter your PIN at the ATM machine or grocery counter. These things are within your control, but there are other tactics outside your control. Identity thieves also trick the information out of banks and businesses, claiming they are research for a non-existent company or using false identities to secure the information. Hackers may sneak into the databases of large companies and download the information they keep for their clientele.

Once they have your personal information, they can submit false address change reports to your bank or creditors. They can apply for mortgages or loans or make purchases against your credit cards. You won't know about it until the *#(& hits the fan, and your credit history is ruined.

1. How Can I Tell if Someone is using my Personal Financial Information Illegally?

So how do you know that an identity thief may be targeting your personal information?  What are the signs to look for? And what do you do if you think you are a victim of identity theft? Here are a few of the things you can watch for to protect your personal financial information and your identity:

1. Order a credit report, at the very least, once a year. If a close review of your credit report reveals accounts you've never heard of or loans you did not make, you may be a victim. The report could also contain inquiries about your credit from merchants and vendors you didn't apply to. These are all important red flags, and you should follow-up on the information immediately.

2. You receive a bill or statement from a company you didn't open an account with.

3. You notice unauthorized or incorrect changes on your credit card or bank statement.

4. You get calls from business owners or debt collectors who claim you have a bill that is overdue for a product or service you never ordered or received.

5. You are denied approval of a loan or credit card application, even when you know your credit is good.

If you've noticed any of these warning signs, follow up immediately by contacting the credit card company, bank, or credit report agency with questions. Don't accept inadequate answers to your questions. And continue to follow-up until all your questions have been answered and your credit account or report is accurate and up-to-date.

If you find you can't resolve issues easily, you may be an identity theft victim already. Report this problem to law enforcement authorities immediately. Contact your bank, your creditors, and the credit report agencies to let them know the problem is occurring and ask them to freeze your accounts. Add special passwords that anyone inquiring about our using your accounts must know to get a transaction approved. Do what you can to find out what the identity thief has done. For example, where have they opened accounts or where have the applied for loans. Can you find another address associated with your name that is not familiar to you? If you identify the identity thief, do not contact them directly. Rather provide that information to law enforcement.

2. What Can I do to Prevent Identity Theft Before it Happens?

To avoid becoming a victim of identity theft, follow these guidelines:

1. Keep a very close eye on your credit card activities. Check statements closely as soon as you receive them, and confirm that you made or approved all of the purchases. If there are questionable charges on your statement, contact the company immediately to find out when and where the purchase was made and to formally dispute the charge. You might be surprised to know how many people fail to review their statements carefully each month. Failure to attend to your accounts could leave you thousands, even hundreds of thousands, in debt with no products or services to show for it.

2. Request credit report updates at least twice a year. Look for a lower-than-expected credit score, unfamiliar accounts, or credit inquiries from companies you don't do business with.

3. Be careful to protect your personal financial papers. Keep them in a secure location, preferably under lock and key. And don't allow other people to access them without your express permission.

4. Be alert when you're writing checks or using your ATM card. Is there anyone near enough who could read and steal personal information or your PIN number? Be careful to protect these items from view.

5. Deliver your bill payments directly to the post office, and don't let your mail sit in your mail box too long. This is an open invitation to the ever-vigilant identity thief.

6. Use unexpected and unique passwords on all your internet accounts, mixing letters with numbers and symbols. And change your passwords at least every six months.

Keep up on the news about new identity theft strategies and scams. Read the paper and surf the internet to find out who's doing what these days. Make sure you know what your creditors do with their customers' personal information and demand they protect it. 

Avoid becoming a victim of identity theft by applying common sense and careful thought to your everyday transactions. Question people who ask for inappropriate information and feel empowered to refuse to answer. Remember that you may not know your co-workers and acquaintances very well. Do not share your information with anyone you don't trust 100%.

Abhishek is a Personal Security expert and he has got some great Identity Theft Prevention Secrets [] up his sleeves! Download his FREE 136 Page Ebook, "Identity Theft - Don't Be The Next Victim!" from his website []. Only limited Free Copies available.

Article Source: [] Prevent Identity Theft - Tips To Avoid Becoming A Victim

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how to be protected online and be safe from cyber threats and cyberattacks

Viruses, ransomware, scams, identity theft and loss of digital information are becoming more and more common as we move towards a digital age.
With digital security becoming more apparent, it is very important to adopt a good habit in keeping yourself and your family safe online. Below are some basic tips and hints to protect your identity, files and your personal device.

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Keep your computer, smartphone and tablet clean
  • Keep your device up to date with the latest software
    Software updates provide enhancements and security updates.
  • Keep your security software (anti-virus) up to date
    Security software needs latest virus definitions to identify new and emerging virus/malware. Yes, even Mac's and smartphones needs security software.
  • Scan external devices (USB)
    USB and external devices can carry virus from infected devices onto yours. Make sure you enable external device scanning to ensure it doesn't get onto your computer
Be very web savvy online
  • Watch out for dangerous links and attachmentsWhen there is doubt, delete it. Links/attachments in emails, tweets, SMS, posts and advertising are way cyber criminals can compromise your device. If its suspicious or too good to be true, delete it, block or mark it as junk.
  • Check for trusted websites
    When banking online or shopping, ensure they have SSL (secure socket layer) security. SSL protects passwords and your banking information securely.
  • Beware of Phishing
    Phishing is a way for cyber criminals to mask legitimate website with their own to steal your confidential login. Do not click on any requests to verify your password unless you requested it.
  • Risks with public Wi-Fi Hotspots
    Adjust your security level on your device when accessing public networks. Your device firewall and anti-virus can detect and adjust automatically when connecting to different networks. Turn off your Wi-Fi to public networks when you don't need to use it anymore.
Protect your personal information
  • Keep your password complex
    Don't use generic password. Keep it complex with the combination of upper case/lower case characters, numbers and symbols. If it's too hard to remember, use a secure password manager to keep track.
  • Use Two Step Verification
    Two step verification will make it more difficult to access you online presence. If a cyber criminal has your password, they will be stopped if they don't have access to your other devices and accounts.
Back it all up
Backup your data, photos, documents, video and other digital information and store it securely.
Article Source:

Read and share our guide review on top-best antivirus software for your complete online protection on 

Two things to bear in Mind while we talk about Protecting yourself Online in order to Prevent Online Identity Theft and being Victim of Cyber-Criminals:

A. Keep in mind that antivirus software protects only your device, not your internet connection. It’s only Secured and Protected Virtual Private Network, VPN can securely protect your internet connection communications between your computer device, servers and websites.

B. A VPN is a must-have utility to protect your privacy and prevent hackers and snoopers from stealing your personal information.