Guess what the government shutdown didn’t shut down - online scams and the bad guys’ quest for your personal information. The ID theft protection company LifeLock recently commented on one of the latest scams would-be thieves are using, as well as their increased focus on teens and social networks.
This latest ruse has them posing as government officials aiming to enroll you health care. Taking advantage of some of the confusion and red-tape that Obamacare has generated, they generously offer to help you through the process. You simply give them your SS number and other info, and they then proceed to use it to open up credit cards in your name.
While there aren’t many teens signing up for heath care, there are plenty of them on Facebook and other similar sites that cyber-crooks are finding to be easy prey. Even though their age group may be technically more adept than their parents, they’re not particularly adept at keeping their personal info out of reach. A LifeLock survey revealed that fully 75% of 13-17 year olds did include personal information on their social media profiles that could make them victims of identity theft.
The really scary part is that this could haunt them for years to come. They may not even realize they are victims until years from now when they start applying for credit cards and loans, only to discover they’re being denied because past fraudulent activity. It’s therefore imperative that parents and teens step up and take the proper measures to protect their identities right now. Here’s a quick and easy to follow list of “do’s and don’ts” that will help keep them safe online:
- Do your homework on a site before entering any personal information to make sure it’s legit.
- Don’t checkout of a shopping site unless the URL starts with “https,” indication it’s secure.
- Don’t list your full name, birth date or address on your social media profiles
- Don’t accept friend requests from anyone you do not know.
- Do realize that whatever you put online will be there forever.
- Do use strong and different passwords for every one of your online accounts, including variations of capital and lowercase letters, numbers and special symbols.
It also might be good idea to check out getting some ID theft protection like LifeLock offers. A small expense now (less with this discount) could save you a fortune in money and misery down the road. Have a look at this video about what they offer and see what you think.
What’s the saying – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure? It’s always easier to do something to prevent a problem than to deal with it after it’s happened. After all, you can never be too careful.
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