This National Fraud Awareness Week, Fight Cybercrime Yourself

Posted On: August 7, 2018

In this day of age, technology is incredible, but that doesn’t mean it’s all good. Just as easy as it is for you to say “Alexa, play Despacito,” a cyber-criminal can steal your entire identity before the song is even done.

Identity fraud has hit new heights as…

The Numbers are Big, but Not Good

In 2017 alone:

  • 16.7 million victims of identity fraud (a record high)
  • 30% of U.S. consumers suffered a data breach
  • $16.8 billion stolen, all added up

Of course, this isn’t an unaddressed problem. The FTC and other regulating bodies may be hard at work fighting cybercrime, but that’s no reason to sit on the sidelines. This National Fraud Awareness Week, take the fight into your own hands: check out the steps you can take to protect your identity.


Look Where You Surf

Before surfing the web, determine if the website your heading to is secure. All this really requires is that you check the URL to make sure it has:

  1. “https://” at the very beginning
  2. A padlock icon to the left of it

Additionally, check to see if a company has a physical address and phone number listed on its website. If there’s real-world contact information, it’s a degree more trustworthy.


Bulking Up Your Passwords

Imagine a brick wall that would collapse if you remove a single brick; passwords are sort of like that. The key to protecting yourself via passwords is variety. Specifically, use a unique password for every account you have – this way, if one account is compromised, the rest are not. It’s also a good idea to mix it up within the password itself: use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Finally, never use personal information as a password.


Protecting Yourself in Public

Sure, free Wi-Fi is super convenient, but it’s not the most secure. The next time you’re camped out at a coffee bar, turn off the sharing functionalities for your electronic devices. Your devices are usually set up to automatically trust the network they connect to, which can spell out bad news for you in the long run. If it’s an option, connect to a VPN or Virtual Private Network. This’ll usually cost money, but safety is priceless!

 

Protection Made Easy

At the end of the day, double-checking every URL will only get you so far in terms of cyber-safety. For absolute peace of mind, find yourself digital protection. Stream offers a host of Protective Services perfect for saving the day digitally. Between Identity Protection, Credit Monitoring, and Tech Support, you’ll never have to sweat the cyber stuff.