Social Media Tips
Social media is a wonderful tool to stay in touch with family, friends and even businesses that you frequent. It is also a favorite place for Scams to begin, many criminals will use information found on Social Media to begin their cons. Here are a few simple tips to stay safe:
Keep a lot of your profile information as private, or even false. Don't fill out your birthdate, don't indicate who your family members are, or who you are employed by.
Don't respond to surveys, or celebrate national XYZ days. These just give away personal information or provide password prompts such as dog names, anniversary dates, etc.
Don’t click on any links, pictures or unexpected friend requests sent to you
Keep your circle of friends and followers small and meaningful-only people you really know.
Email seems as vital these days as your physical address. It is a great way to stay in contact with friends or people that you do business with. However, there are just so many emails, here is an easy tip to manage it:
Get 2 emails, 1 for promotions and "garbage" and 1 for private/business use.
Your promotion email should be used for rewards programs, shopping sites, etc.
Your private use email should only be given to those that you have business, medical or personal relationship with. Think Doctor, bank, school, etc. Make sure your email is through a large provider and that you take advantage of their automatic spam and scam filters
Don't click on links embedded in any unexpected emails
Protecting your identity and assets
In the past, your Social Security number was the thing that you kept most secure, it was the key that criminals needed to takeover your identity. Now, your login credentials are the most sought after piece of information on the Dark Web. Criminals will pay up to 20X more for this information than your Social Security number. Logins and passwords are often repeated and this information can be used to hack into email accounts, online banking accounts or funds transfer applications. All of these provide instant access to funds or personal information whereas ID theft from a social security number and taking out a loan takes time.
Here are a few recommended steps to help protect yourself and your assets, especially as you age.
Trusted contacts-A law recently passed that allows Financial Institutions and other Fiduciaries to collect from you the name of a trusted contact that the bank can engage in certain situations. I absolutely recommend that people take advantage of this feature. Think of it like free scam insurance. This name is provided by you, they have 0 control over your accounts, but the trusted contact could be consulted in certain situations. If the fiduciary is suspicious of account behavior, logins, transactions, etc. they can leverage your trusted contact to validate and potentially save your money!
Sign up for elective alerts within the online banking sites of your Financial Institutions. These are not the alerts that start scams!! These are self-enrolled alerts based upon activity type and can include a warning if; your login information changes, a transaction occurs in a different country, a transaction over a certain threshold, or your address was changed are some examples.
Register your phone numbers with the Do Not Call registry at the Federal Trade Commission at www.FTC.gov. While it won't stop every call, it will stop a lot of them.
Establish biometric (fingerprint) or 2 factor authentication (password + something else) for higher risk applications such as mobile banking on your phone.
Request a stop to pre-approved Credit Card offers. This can be done at any of the three major Credit Reporting agencies. This will reduce mail fraud and the potential for ID Theft
Check credit reports regularly and sign up for their alerts based upon activity using Credit Karma so that you may be notified if someone tries to open a loan in your name
If mail fraud is a concern, sign up for Informed Delivery which will notify you of what was scheduled to be delivered to your mailbox, so you can act if something is missing. Visit: https://informeddelivery.usps.com