MHEDA Session Recap: Identity Theft is a Growing Problem.
The MHEDA National Convention this year had a great session on protecting yourself from identity theft. This has become a major issue in recent years. According to the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, identity theft has cost Americans upwards of 15 billion dollars per year!
One of the most prevalent forms of identity theft scams is phishing. Phishing scams can affect individuals at home AND in the workplace. Phishing is when hackers use fake websites and email to try to steal your personal data, especially passwords and credit card information. There are ways to protect yourself from this growing problem, so you don’t become the next victim.
1. Be wary of e-mails asking for confidential information especially if they are asking for financial information. E-mails reminding you to update your account, requesting you to send a wire transfer, or alerting you about a failed transaction will certainly get your attention, however, the hackers count on the urgency of the message to compel you to give up sensitive information.
2. Be careful what you click. Most fraudulent e-mails will have some sort of link for you to click on. If you aren’t 100% certain of the sender’s authenticity, don’t click on attachments or embedded links; both are likely to result in malware being installed.
3. Stay up to date and maintain effective software to combat phishing. Reliable anti-virus software should also automatically detect and block fake websites. It should also authenticate major and legitimate banking and shopping websites.