Identity Theft Prevention Tips

Cartoon thief

Identity Theft is a growing problem with no end in sight. The widespread use of social media and personal blogs have given thieves a window into people’s personal lives and identifiable information.

Although there is no one sure-fire way to stop the determined thief, these tips can help keep your information safe:

1. Mobile device security. Consider turning off the wifi when you are not at home; it will keep you from accidentally connecting to a network without intending to. Only download apps from trusted sources; stay away from third-party or untrusted vendors. Save sensitive activity, like logging into your online banking, until you are connected to a trusted network.

2. Update your anti-virus software and keep your network password secure. You don’t want outsiders to be able to access your home network.

3. Don’t fall for scams. Be wary of unknown links, even in email from people you trust as their system may have been compromised. Don’t download something if you don’t know what it is.

4. Monitor your credit reports. Report any suspicious credit card activity as soon as you discover it. Freeze accounts that may have be in jeopardy.

5. Don’t forget the old-school methods for data breaching. Shred important documents to thwart dumpster-divers. Safeguard your mailbox if possible, or consider using a post office box.

Here is a link for the top 10 Identity Theft Protection companies:

http://www.consumersadvocate.org/id-theft-protection/best-id-theft-protection?matchtype=e&keyword=identity%20theft&adpos=1t3&gclid=CIOUsZec8cwCFUdrfgodMRMCwQIden

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Keep Yourself and Your Family Safe…

1-Day Citizens Handgun Safety Course

LA crime in certain areas is on the rise. Here are some useful tips to help stay safe while walking alone….

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1. Keep your keys ready

Even if it’s a quick jaunt from your front door to your car, it’s a good idea to keep your keys ready at all times. Hold on to them inside your pocket. Then, bring them out holding the proper key in position as you approach your car or front door. This will eliminate fumbling around in your purse for them outside, which will distract you from your surroundings.

2. Walk with confidence

Keep your head up and don’t be afraid to make eye contact with those you pass. Walk at a steady pace and walk facing traffic to keep yourself visible. If you get lost, don’t wander aimlessly. Keep your pace steady and head for the nearest store or restaurant to ask for directions.

3. Trust your gut

When out alone at night, your instincts are your best friend. If you are worried someone is following you, turn around. Let the person know you’re aware of their presence. Don’t head straight for your car or home, but go to a nearby store or restaurant, somewhere public and safe.

4. Carry a noisy friend

Keep some kind of noisemaker on your keychain or pinned to your jacket. A personal alarm or whistle can be used to let those around you know when something is wrong.

5. Know what to do in the worst-case scenario

The best defense against an attack is awareness and action. If you are faced with an uncomfortable or dangerous situation and you can escape, do so immediately. Only you can determine what you can or will do when faced with an attacker. Self-defense moves and tips can be found from various web sources, or through community self-defense classes.

6. Avoid struggling with lots of bags

Struggling with five different bags at night as you make your way into the house can be a fact of life, but you should avoid it whenever possible. Multiple bags can prevent your ability to react quickly should a dangerous situation arise.

7. Avoid hiding spots

Parked cars, dark alleys and unlit corners of parking garages are all places that you should avoid when you’re out alone. Keep yourself in visible places on the sidewalk or street as much as possible.

8. Choose your footwear wisely

Choose footwear that is comfortable, such as runners. If necessary, wear one pair of shoes to the office and bring your indoor footwear in a bag.