Identity Theft: Protect Yourself

Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2022

This year’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month theme, “See Yourself in Cyber,” focuses on an individual’s smart decisions to keep safe and secure online. Today’s post provides tips to help you avoid identity theft.

⇒ Tip No. 1. Change your passphrases often for all online accounts. Generate a secure, unique passphrase for each separate account.

⇒ Tip No. 2. Don’t save passphrases to websites or credit card information online. To minimize the potential damage of an attacker gaining access to your credit card information, consider opening a credit card account for use only online.

⇒ Tip No. 3. Avoid using debit cards for online purchases or when eating at restaurants (when your card may be momentarily out of sight). Because the charges are immediately deducted from your debit account, an attacker who obtains your account information may empty your bank account before you even realize it!

⇒ Tip No. 4. Don’t respond to any suspicious or urgent messages requesting that you click a link, send money or share sensitive information. Don’t click links sent to you via text message, unless you’ve been expecting them or have verified the sender is legitimate.

⇒ Tip No. 5. Never access an open, unsecured Wi-Fi network that doesn’t require a password. If you connect to the internet from a public location like a coffee shop or restaurant, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

⇒ Tip No. 6. Avoid gift card scams by inspecting gift cards before you buy them, always save the receipt and only buy from sources you know and trust. A gift card should have all its protective stickers in place. Report the card to the store if anything looks scratched off or damaged.

Following these tips can go a long way to keeping your identity and your hard-earned money safe and secure. To learn more, access the security awareness training available through ECU’s Cornerstone Training Portal (log in required).