#14 Computer Compromised/Hacked
Your computer is the guardian of your digital life, including your identity. You depend on it to store most, if not all, of your personally identifiable information. While the versatility of having all of this information available to you at the click of a button has become an integral part of your everyday life, it also leaves you more vulnerable to identity fraud.
A hacked computer is a potential gold mine for a criminal looking to steal your valuable personally identifiable information. What information is on your device that a hacker would love to gain access to? Likely some juicy tidbits such as… credit card numbers, bank account numbers, driver’s license information, photos, email addresses, phone numbers, tax records, Social Security numbers, health data, birthdates, and account passwords. With the criminal having access to any or all of this information, the hacker can devastate your identity, so it’s essential for you to take steps to secure your computer both digitally and physically.
A computer hacking incident can happen either digitally through your network, or physically by stealing your device and hacking after they have it in their possession.
Steps you can take to secure your computer from being hacked:
- When in pubic, never leave your device unattended because your doing that leaves open the possibility for someone to grab it and run off with it.
- Choose to use a personal hotspot rather than public Wi-Fi. Public Wi-Fi is one of the easiest methods for hackers to gain access to a computer remotely.
- Use a VPN when you are on your device using the internet so that your true IP address is hidden from view when searching the internet.
- Change your device password regularly.
- Install anti-virus software that includes a firewall for your device.
- Enable automatic software updates for your computer because most of those help to patch security vulnerabilities.
- Be wary of saving passwords on your browsers because if in the off chance your device is physically stolen, saving passwords on your browser(s) will give the hacker easy access to every other area of your digital life.
Credit monitoring will not alert you to this type of fraud.
LibertyID will take the following steps for/with their members:
- Place fraud alerts at all three credit reporting agencies
- Place credit freezes at all three credit reporting agencies, if appropriate
- Review credit reports with the victim to ensure there is no identity theft has taken place according to the three credit report bureaus
- Provide single bureau credit monitoring with alerts for 12 months
- Periodically contact the member throughout the 12 months following if warranted