Sherman Oaks Accounting & Bookkeeping powered by One Source Services, Inc. is always conscious of fraud and protecting our clients’ information.
More than 200 major websites have had leaked data, including user passwords, over the past few years.
How can you stay safe in a world of data leaks?
There are things you can do to protect your online information:
> Use a different password on each website.
> Use a password manager like LastPass to generate secure passwords & store them safely.
> Use two-factor authentication (2FA) wherever possible. You can check if major sites have 2FA available at twofactorauth.org
> Check the site Have I Been Pwned? and see if your password has
ever been leaked.
Last year, Equifax reported a massive security breach that you may have heard about. Here are 5 more things you should do today to protect yourself:
> Sign-up for a year of free credit monitoring and identity theft insurance from Equifax through the same link above. You might even consider paying for additional years after the free year expires.
> Keep a close eye on your finances, including your credit reports. The big risks are fraudulent credit applications and bad people taking advantage of your personal data.
> If you may have been a fraud victim, request a Fraud Alert to warn lenders. Then you’ll be contacted before new loans or credit are established in your name.
> Place a security freeze on your credit file. A credit freeze may require payment of a fee as well as a waiting period when you want to unfreeze it to apply for credit in the future.
Internet users should also be aware that companies like Google use our profiles to filter search results based on what they think we are most likely to click on.
Furthermore, our information is being sold to advertisers and we are actually charged more money for identical products based on our search history!
One Source Services, Inc. does not believe that big corporations should decide what information you see in your Internet search results or who should have to pay more than someone else for the same thing.
The practice is called the “Filter Bubble.”
You can remove yourself from the Filter Bubble with a browser extension called DuckDuckGo.
DuckDuckGo keeps users anonymous on the Internet, doesn’t collect any personal information and therefore doesn’t put you in the “Filter Bubble.” It’s FREE! We use it and highly recommend it.
The Internet is a magical place, especially for those of us who remember using encyclopedias and library card catalogs.
A vast amount of information is literally available at our fingertips.
It doesn’t come without risks, though, and there are always dubious people looking to take advantage and get something for nothing.
Behave in the virtual environment as you do in the physical one: take appropriate steps to protect yourself, stay informed, and be aware.