What do these very different things have in common?
I have all my hair and I have yet to dream of even a vacation to Turkey. However, my credit card company was suspicious of some charges stemming in the far away land and called, texted and emailed me immediately as my credit card charges skyrocketed to the tune of $3200.00 in about an hour! Apparently, there is a need for Roof Rugs in Turkey.
“hackers infiltrated Target’s computer system and eventually stole the data of 40 million credit- and debit-card numbers during a security breach that lasted from Nov. 27 to Dec. 18. The thieves also stole personal data like email addresses and phone numbers of 70 million customers.” WSJ
I knew this had happened and I had just received my new credit card replacement. I was literally a day late in activating it! I had a false sense of security for no apparent reason. I am lucky to have grown up in a time where we did not lock the front door and I could be gone all day on my bike with no way to call home as long as I was in by dark. However, the last few years I have become increasingly wary. I lock my doors, I never leave anything valuable in my car, I have fraud alerts on my accounts and I pay a fee every month for extra protection, I am a life lock member, I change my passwords regularly and more. Even so, I got hacked. I AM SO ANGRY! I work very hard. I am honest and I treat others with kindness. I would NEVER steal from another.
Also, I FOOLISHLY thought that this breach happened a while ago and I do check my balances and credit card activity weekly. “I should be fine for a few more days,” I actually told myself. Silly, silly , silly girl.
So, I have a new card. I changed passwords etc. It could have been so much worse had I not had my fraud alert on my account. If you do not have this . . . DO IT TODAY! I am not going to site all the articles I found with a quick Google search on Identity Theft Predictions 2014 but suffice it to say, be on your toes!
There are a people out there who rationalize their thievery. I cannot so here are some other ways to protect of yourself.
1. Avoid Phishing – When I get a call from someone/company asking for any personal information I always ask for a call back number. I never just give any identity info away freely. It is mine and I can treat it as a valuable commodity.
2. Passwords – DO NOT have the same one for every account. I have a friend who had everything hacked because of this. It is a hassle but the security attained is immeasurable. Also, change your passwords regularly. Keep the bad guy guessing.
3. Check Your Accounts Regularly – This goes hand in hand with being better organized. I check balances every Monday. It is set in my Task calendar. When you know what is going on you are better prepared.
4. Never Share Your Card – Do not give it to a friend or leave it behind. It is your money.
5. Avoid Holding Your Card – I was in a Starbucks and a Lady in front of me had her card in her hand. It was a long line and I could see the card clearly. If I wanted to steal the number etc. I could have. I tapped her on the shoulder and told her, “Hi, you know I can see your card and all the info on it. With all the cell phones out there a quick snapshot would be all I need.” She thanked me and said she had never thought about that before.
6. Mailbox – I mail all mail from a mailbox not from my home. So much safer that way.
My primary job is to take care of myself and my family. I am Jane and you toupee wearing frauds are not. So there.