Public Interest Page (II) - Protecting Against Identity Theft / Phishing









You can request a copy of your current credit report once per year from the three major credit reporting agencies/bureaus, Equifax, Experian and Transunion.  An efficient way to approach this would be to alternate the respective requests on four month intervals. Hence; the initial request would be made to "x", four months later to "y" and four months after that to "z".  You will have received a current credit report every four months from the three major respective credit reporting agencies/bureaus which are listed above and on the FDIC website listed below:

Protect your devices with secure passwords. Would you leave your home or car unlocked? Not having your Smartphone or computer secured allows thieves to see that they can learn about you. Take it one step further and make sure your passwords are not easy for others to figure out.

Utilize smarter sharing practices on social media. The standard recommendation of not posting your vacation pictures real time remains. Get home, unpack your luggage then tell the world about the amazing three week cruise. The less known danger of social media is identity thieves looking for personal information you use as a favorite, easy to remember password, including the names of pets, children or grandchildren.

Encrypt your computer. Encrypting your computer means that someone has to have your password (or encryption key) in order to utilize the contents should they get access to your hard drive.

Ask about the security practices of those who handle your information. The FTC recommends before sharing sensitive information at your workplace, a business, your child's school or a doctor's office, ask why they need it, how they will safeguard it, and the consequences of not sharing.

Protecting your personal information is important to us at Securities America. For more information on obtaining and monitoring your accounts and credit history, and for tips on protecting your identity, please give my office a call.



Phishing is an attempt to steal accounts, passwords, usernames, and/or financial information by masquerading as a trustworthy party.

Phishers on various websites may try to gain access to your  account by getting you to login to a fake (but real looking) clone site that is linked from an email they send you. The phisher can then use your account to post scam ads.

How Phishing works:

1.  You receive a supposedly official email from one of the websites you visit, asking you to confirm your password, username, phone number, or credit card information.

  • This email may threaten you with the removal of your posts or the closure of your account if you do not comply immediately.
  • If the sender is using email spoofing, the message may appear to come directly from one of the websites you visit.

2.  You click the link in the email and are taken to a fraudulent third-party site that may resemble a legitimate familiar website page.

3.  You may be asked to download an attachment, install specific software, or receive a message to your phone.

4.  You enter your login information on the fraudulent page, inadvertently providing it to a third party.

5.  The third party scammer can then use the information you provided to gain access to your actual  account.

How to avoid phishing attempts and protect your account information:

  • Never click on email links that ask you for any personal or account information.
  • Make sure to login to your account only by navigating manually to your desired website..
  • If you are unsure about the status of your account or your posts, the safest way to check is to go directly to the respective website and login.
  • If you do not see any problems within your account, you may be able to safely ignore any messages to the contrary.
  • Never provide a phone authentication code to anyone else, other than your trusted source.
  • Use common sense. If an email seems suspicious, fishy, or too good to be true . . . . it probably is!

Think you've been phished?

If you see strange activity or unfamiliar posts on your account page, please change your password immediately and manually delete any recent post(s) you may have made to the respective website..

If you use the same password for your email account (or any other services), you may want to change those passwords as well.

The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) | FTC Phishing Avoidance Tips | Wikipedia: Phishing








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