Each year, Hollywood residents are exposed to hacks, scams, and other threats online. In some cases, such as identity theft, victims may have recourse to the criminal justice system. In other situations, those affected choose to pursue legal claims.
Cyber security breaches can impact a person’s livelihood, personal safety, and finances for years to come. Fraudsters can gain access to very personal information from victims, can clear out bank accounts, can ruin credit ratings, and more. The effects of such crimes often include immense stress, financial hardship and even family problems.
Everyone is at risk, which is why it is important to take some steps online to protect yourself:
- Use firewalls and software: Turn on firewalls on your computer to protect yourself from unknown sites and malware. Install and use software which protects you from spyware, viruses, and other malware. Make sure your software is up-to-date and run scans often.
- Be password smart: Many sites require usernames and passwords. Always use unique passwords and usernames for your sites. When creating passwords, use a combination of letters and numbers which are hard to guess. Never share passwords with others or write them down. Instead, use a secure password manager to keep track of your passwords and be sure to change them regularly.
- Update your mobile devices and computers: Reduce the risk of software vulnerabilities by updating often.
- Secure your wireless network: Make sure your network is encrypted and contact your Internet provider to learn how to secure your Wi-fi further.
- Be ware about sharing personal information: Today, many retailers and businesses want access to your personal information for marketing purposes. You may be asked for your credit card number to secure a spa appointment or a store may want your phone number for their mailing list. Keep in mind that if these stores are ever hacked, your private information could be accessed and you have no control over how careful companies are with your information. If there’s no reason for a company to have your personal information, do not provide it.
- Stay on top of risk: Check your bank and credit card statements each month and report and suspicious activity at once. Get your credit report once a year and review it for any unauthorized activity, too.
- Understand the scams: Read about common scams online on government websites and follow updates so you can recognize suspicious activity.
- Surf safety: When browsing the web, use privacy settings when using social networking sites and make sure that websites are secure before entering any private information, such as your name and address. Look for a small lock symbol in the URL bar and make sure any websites where you enter private information have a URL which begins with the letters “https.”
- Use email carefully: Do not click on emails from people you do not know; delete them without opening them. If you get any email asking you to open an attachment or to follow a link, check the email address carefully, even if the email seems to be from someone you trust.
Getting Help After a Hack
If your identity has been stolen contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free consultation with a Hollywood personal injury attorney.