Mobile Device Security
Protect Your Identity
The bottom line for online social threats like phishing, spyware, and hackers is identity theft. ID theft occurs when someone uses your name, Social Security number, credit card number or other personal information without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes. That's why it's important to protect your personal information. To find out how to deter and detect identity theft, visit ftc.gov/idtheft.
- Never use the "Remember my Password" function on any website that contains personal or financial information. Anyone using your computer can access the same information or conduct business in your name.
- If you must store personal information (such as passwords or credit card numbers) on your computer or PDA, use an encryption program to protect them. Another way to keep an electronic record is to create a CD of the sensitive information and store it in a locked place whenever you're not actively using it.
- Always use a secure (password-enabled) WiFi connection. While on campus, use MWireless.
- Beware of "phishing" scams designed to lure you into submitting personal information online. These messages may look like official correspondence from a company you do business with, but don't be fooled! Legitimate companies don't request sensitive information via e-mail. If in doubt, call the company's customer service center.
- Consider using one credit card exclusively for shopping online. That way you can monitor all online purchases on one statement, and keep another card for face-to-face transactions.
- Before placing an order online, look for a closed "lock" icon on the bottom of the page and make sure the address begins with "https". This signifies that encryption software is being used to create a secure transaction.
- Storing your credit card information on a shopping or service website may seem convenient, but it puts your credit at risk. Even highly respected online vendors have had their security broken.
- Unsolicited e-mail and attachments can wreck havoc on your computer. A message may look like it's from a trusted source, but it's possible for an unscrupulous person to pretend to be someone else. If you're not expecting an attachment, don't open it or even reply to it! The safest plan is to delete it and contact the sender in a separate e-mail.
- Monitor your credit. Order a free credit report at https://www.annualcreditreport.com/, and beware of imposter credit report websites. For more information, see http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre34.shtm
If you suspect your identity has been compromised:
Take these steps now and in the future to detect fraud or identity theft committed using your personal information.
Obtain a free copy of your credit report from one of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies through a jointly administered Web site, https://www.annualcreditreport.com. Carefully review your credit report, credit card statements, and other personal financial account information. Look for suspicious activity. This does not include incorrect personal information, which might appear on the report in error. Examples of suspicious activity are new accounts you did not open or purchases you did not make.
- Place an initial fraud alert on your credit file now by contacting any one of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies listed below. The alert will stay on your credit reports for 90 days.
If your personal information is accidentally disclosed or deliberately stolen, taking certain steps quickly can minimize the potential for identity theft. If you see new accounts or other suspicious activity, take these additional steps:
If you find your personal information has been used to commit a fraud, file a report with your local police department. This will allow you to send a copy of the report to creditors that require evidence that you allege a crime has occurred.
Carefully review your personal financial information on an ongoing basis, and periodically obtain a copy of your credit report. You are entitled to receive a free credit file disclosure once every 12 months from each of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting agencies. You can keep checking for new activity at no cost to you throughout the year if you order a free copy from each agency one at a time spaced four months apart.
What do do if you suspect your e-mail account is compromised
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