Can you believe it’s already been one year since the Equifax data breach? The final number of affected American consumers reached nearly 148 million adults! In a nutshell, that is a “massive” breach.
The overall impact hit both consumers and small business owners. Even though steps have been taken to resolve and restore those affected, this does not change the fact that private consumer data is still out there.
Here are three tips to help protect your data:
- Review the information you post online. Fraudsters may use information about you in scams to make them more convincing. A good rule of thumb is to double check the site where you are posting your information. For example, is the site secure? Is it a reputable site? To make sure the site is secure, see if the URL begins with “https” and contains a padlock icon.
- Be cautious of providing your Social Security number. Never provide your Social Security number over the phone or via email. If someone calls you, you are under NO obligation to provide any identifiable information.
- Look BEFORE you click or call. Malware is designed to cause harm to your device. It can be hidden in email, LinkedIn requests from fake providers, anonymous text messages, hyperlinks, etc. Know the source of the information before you click on a hyperlink. Google these providers to find out more information about them.
If you receive a hyperlink within your personal email, do not click on it. Look up the website on a separate browser or webpage and contact the provider to verify they did send the email. Under no circumstances should you provide your personal login information through the hyperlink or phone number provided through the email unless you initiated the transaction.