5 Steps You Can Take To Prevent Mobile Identity Theft

Posted: February 17, 2014 in Mobile Security
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mobile security tipsIdentity theft has become a serious problem in an increasing number of areas.

Daily life in our high tech world has become a minefield of ways a clever thief can profit from stealing even the smallest information about you, and can lead to dire consequences in your life. Ruined credit can keep you from renting an apartment or buying a house, buying a car, or even getting a job. Worse, it can take years to unwind the worst damage of identity theft. leaving you with a ruined reputation.

There are a number of common ways thieves steal identities, but in recent years, the most common is through wireless mobile electronics like laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. There is hacker technology that can all but snatch sensitive financial and personal information right out of the air from beside you in line at the store, from an all-but-invisible attachment to your regular ATM, or any number of other places where you thought your gadgets and information would be safe.

You don’t have to be a helpless victim to identity thief pirates on the wide open sea of digital data exchange. Fortunately, there are mobile security apps for parents by NQ Mobile that protect you and your electronics. Here are some of the most effective:

1. Strong Passwords — This is one of the most important ones, and unfortunately, the one most people make serious mistakes on. The common habit is toward simple to remember passwords: the name of a child or family pet, a birthday, a plain series of letters or numbers, and other words or numbers that would be easy for a hacker to figure out. An ideal password is not an actual word in any language, and should include a mixture of letters (capitals AND lowercase, if possible), numbers, symbols, and be at least 8 characters long. (Example: J45R-Vq~1dnS) Yes, you will have to memorize it or write it down and store it somewhere SAFE (like an actual safe), but this ensures a basic measure of security that is of great importance.

2. Don’t Use the Same Password for Every Account — This one is important as well. All it would take is for a hacker to snap up one password or PIN, and they would immediately have access to all of your accounts.

3. Lock Up Your Passwords — It is not recommended to write down your passwords, and especially to keep them somewhere easy to find, like tucked in your wallet, taped under your keyboard or the back of your tablet, the most common places people put them and the first place a thief is going to look. You can certainly write them down, but keep them in a locked drawer, lockbox, or safe where only you know the combination or hold the key.

4. Arm Your Computer with Protective Software — Many identity and data thieves now steal right out of the air from Wi-Fi or 4G. They have developed the ability to reach right into an internet-attached computer either directly or through programs they sneak in through back doors and draw out whatever they please, and even take over operation of the computer. To protect your computer from these invasions, it is imperative that you have an anti-virus, adware blocker, anti-spyware program, and firewall are the least you should have on your system. All of these should be updated frequently — even daily, and running a scan every day certainly can’t hurt either.

5. Beware of Email “Phishing” Scams — If you receive an email that provides a link to a website you deal with often and asks you to enter personal information when you reach the resulting web page, don’t even if it looks legitimate. Instead, go to the main website you usually use and ask customer service if the email is legitimate. The same holds true if an email asks you to reply with personal or financial information. Never do so when someone else initiated the interaction. Again, contact the website or company if one is listed.

Under phishing also fall the infamous “Nigerian prince” scams, fake lotteries, false pleas from “friends” for money to save them from a non-existent dangerous situation, and more. Check with the Internet Fraud Information Center, the FBI’s Internet Fraud Unit, or the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) for more information and assistance about all areas of identity theft and Internet crime.

NQ security logoAuthor Bio:
Sarah Hendricks who is a security expert on protecting users and businesses from hackers with NQ mobile’s mobile security application. NQ Mobile provides all kinds of mobile security; users in the office, at home, or working remotely are all subject to attack.

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