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Taking these actions can help you protect your personal and financial information from getting compromised.  As a general rule, legitimate companies will never contact you by phone or email to ask for Social Security numbers, account numbers, log-in information, or passwords.  Developing these good habits dramatically improves your level of protection.

Be aware of where you may be leaving digital fingerprints!


  • Regularly update software like MS Windows and Internet browsers
  • Use Anti-Virus, Anti-Spam, and Anti-Spyware/Malware software
  • Log out of your computer when you are not actively using it

Web Browsing

  • Use secure passwords and keep them safe
  • Try to use different passwords for different websites
  • Avoid entering user names and passwords on public computers
  • Set security settings to prevent popups or automatic file installs


  • Do not click links or open attachments from unknown senders
  • Do not click links from known senders if they look unusual
  • Do not give out personal or financial information over email
  • Turn off the option to automatically download attachments

Smart Phones

  • Require a password to access your smart phone
  • Be careful of public Wi-Fi hot-spots; they often have no security


  • Do not share personal information with someone who says they are calling on a company’s behalf; call the company back directly
  • Learn the signs of prize, award, and other telemarketing scams

Social Media

  • Avoid over-sharing, which includes home or work addresses, or travel plans


  • Shred paperwork that may have sensitive information, like financial statements
  • Promptly review correspondence, notices and account statements, or confirmations from brokers and banks
  • Actively monitor your credit card and bank balances and transactions

If you found this article useful, check out our other Cyber Security pieces:
Cyber Security:  Recognizing Scams!
Beware the Tax Scam!