Identity Theft !!! Its all we’ve been hearing about! And NOW APPLE!!! WHAT CAN WE DO???? 1st off you don’t want to be like this girl who just found someone opened up a cellphone account in her name.
The timing couldn’t have been worse for beloved Apple, darling of the tech world, no less then ONE WEEK before they release the much awaited (ask the guys in line already) I-Phone 6 —Apple announced that Tuesday they were a victim of the all too common “Targeted Attack” . In Apple’s case, it was leaked photos from the ICloud Apple Storage System. While this isn’t traditional Identity Theft I’m sure those who lost or had their personal pictures exposed aren’t too happy.
Who are the victims? Well the bottom line is we are. The companies that do get attacked, they of course incur costs, however as a business, they always pass down these costs to their customers, so yes, we’re paying for these hackers. Thru August Target has reported that it has spent $146M on breach expenses, EVEN AFTER insurance payouts….
Some of the most famous Breaches recently include of course Apple this week, as well as Target, Home Depot, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, and Neiman Marcus Group.
Fortunately for us some retailers such as Walmart have installed new cutting edge credit card machines that are relatively impervious to breaches, unfortunately we’re not like Europe yet, which has the Europay MasterCard and Visa or EMV-instead of the old easy to crack magnetic strips, these cards have an embedded microchip. However, just like our archaic cell phone network vs. Europe’s efficient cell network…don’t hold your breath on this development in the US. So its on you, and here are some tips:
- Get off the Debit Card habit-if someone hacks your debit card, they go right into your checking, while the bank protects it, if you don’t have enough funds in the meantime, you will have no money and probably bounce checks as well
- If you do have to use a debit card, make sure its not linked to ALL of your accounts, try and keep a small amount in the amount available to your card, using your online banking features
- Use cash as much as you can, while I don’t think we’re going back to the manual card swipers , or checks. If you spend $20 at Home Depot with cash, that’s your exposure period
- Keep your receipts!! and Check your statements!! Online is best because you can see up to the minute debits and credits in the account
- Watch out for “shoulder surfers” when your using your debit card-they could be there for a reason-rings have installed card readers into ATM’s, and rely on normal looking folks to get your pin numbers
- COLLECT your mail promptly, and if you have an offer from Capital One or Chase for a credit card, and your not going to use it. Tear up those offers, its not hard for someone to “surf” thru your garbage and get those, if they find other info say off your facebook page, and they know your favorite vacation spot, or cats name, they might have an easy route into your life
- If you are doing online banking, make sure your using your computer’s firewall, and have anti-virus as well as clean up your computer using free software such as Super Anti-SpyWare
- Protect your Pin # and store your information in a safe place, no post its with your Pin # hanging around anywhere, don’t make it easy for the bad guys!!
- And finally, check your credit once a year, its free and you can see if someone is doing things you don’t want with YOUR CREDIT!!!