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Sileo Identity Theft Prevention & Online Privacy Checklist

CheckmarkIdentity theft prevention is not a one-time solution. You must accumulate layers of privacy and security over time. The following identity theft prevention tips are among those I cover in one of my keynote speeches.

  1. Review your Free Credit Report 3X per year at www.AnnualCreditReport.com.
  2. Opt-Out of financial junk mail.
  3. Stop Marketing Phone Calls at www.DoNotCall.gov.
  4. Freeze Your Credit. State-by-state instructions at www.Sileo.com/2.
  5. If you don’t want to use a credit freeze, place Fraud Alerts on your 3 credit files.
  6. Use sophisticated Identity Monitoring software to detect theft before it’s disastrous.
  7. Stop Sharing Identity (SSN, address, phone, credit card #s) unless necessary.
  8. Protect Your Wallet or Purse. Watch this video.
  9. Protect Your Computer and Online Identity. Privacy Means Profit
  10. Protect your Laptop. Visit www.Sileo.com/laptop-anti-theft for details.
  11. Bank Online: online bank statements, account alerts and bill-pay.
  12. Buy a Shredder (or 2) & shred everything with identity you don’t need.
  13. Minimize Social Networking Exposure. Privacy Means Profit
  14. Lock down your Social Networking Profiles www.Sileo.com/facebook-safety.
  15. Realize that approximately 50% of the worst ID theft crimes are committed by Acquaintances & Friends.
  16. Set up two-factor authentication with your bank.
  17. Stop Clicking on Links in emails and social networking posts that you don’t recognize as legitimate.
  18. Avoid emails/faxes/letters/calls/people promising Something for Nothing.
  19. Know that protecting Other People’s Privacy is part of your responsibility.
  20. For more tools, purchase a copy of John’s Latest Book on Information Survival, Privacy Means Profit.
  21. Subscribe to The Sileo Report eNewsletter and follow John’s Blog.
  22. Consider bringing John Sileo to speak to your organization on identity theft, cyber crime, social engineering, social media exposure and other topics of information exposure.

I Left My Credit Card @ The Restaurant, Now What?! – Privacy Project Episode #8

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So I’m out to dinner with a professional speaker whose name I’ll drop so that you’ll be impressed. Larry Winget. Larry is the Pitbull of Personal Development and he’ll probably kill me for not putting a trademark after that title, because he owns it. If you have somebody in your life (kid, employee, boss) that doesn’t take responsibility for the life they lead and the work they’re supposed to do, Larry’s your man. Google his name and find out, or go to LarryWinget.com.

But back to my story. I treated Larry to dinner in Phoenix because I owe him a thousand meals for the coaching he gives me and we’re leaving the table when his wife (who is much nicer than Larry) asks if I’ve taken my credit card out of the folder. Nope. God I hate when that happens! Small oversight for someone who lives and breathes security and privacy. I left my card in the folder, on the table and was fully prepared to leave the restaurant!

Anyway, this brings up a good point. Now matter how much you know, no matter how hard you work at protecting your identity,sometimes you will slip up and be your own worst enemy. There are just simply times when identity is out of our control. But you don’t have to stress about it. A quick response solves a lost credit card without much pain. Take a look at the video for steps on what to do if you lose or misplace your card.

Honeymoon Over: Flashback Trojan Infects Apple

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(and what you can do about it)

For years, Apple Mac users have been able to smugly preach security supremacy over fellow Windows users. Apple computers were less susceptible to viruses because they accounted for such a small share of hack-able devices. With the explosive growth of Mac laptops, iPads and iPhones, that honeymoon is all but a nostalgic memory. Apple’s Mac OS X no longer has impunity from virus infection. For the second time in the last year, Apple’s OS X has been successfully breached by malware. Here are the details, and steps you MUST take to protect yourself:

Flashback Trojan Facts:

  • The Flashback Trojan has currently infected more than 600,000 Macs.
  • Flashback is a ‘drive-by’ virus, meaning users only have to visit a site that exploits the flaw; you don’t have to download anything to be at risk.
  • The flaw exploits weaknesses in Java coding, an fairly essential and widely used web browsing tool.
  • First, the Trojan loads software onto your system that directs victims to additional malware.
  • Once the malware is installed, the Trojan steals passwords and banking info from Safari.

Tips for Protecting Your Mac:

  • Immediately download and install all Apple updates and security patches (the latest of which corrects the Java flaw).
  • Configure your system to download and install security and software updates automatically as they are released.
  • Make sure you are using the Apple version of Java that is patched for this virus (Java 6 update 31 or greater).
  • Consider installing ant-virus software or a security suite on your Apple computer, much like would on your Windows systems.
  • Check to see if your Mac has been infected with the Flashback Trojan.
  • If you suspect that your Mac has been infected, visit F-Secure’s website and follow its removal instructions.
  • For casual users, consider doing away with Java all together. The Web itself provides the processing power previously provided by Java.
  • Don’t fall prey to the belief that as a Mac user, you are immune to viruses, trojans and malware. Actually, you are probably now more exposed than Windows users, who have been building their defenses for years.

The Apple virus-free honeymoon has been long and satisfying. But as with all relationships, it’s time for you move into a more mature, long lasting companionship.

John Sileo is an award-winning author and speaker on protecting the sensitive data that makes your business run (even the data you access on your iPad, iPhone or Macbook). He is the CEO of The Sileo Group, which advises clients on defending privacy and leveraging trust. His clients included the Pentagon, Pfizer & Homeland Security. Sample his keynote presentations or appearances on 60 Minutes, Anderson Cooper & Fox. 1.800.258.8076.

Facebook Top Tips for Socializing Safely

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  1. Only Friend people you know.
  2. Create a good password and use it only for Facebook.
  3. Don’t share your password.
  4. Change your password on a regular basis.
  5. Share your personal information only with people and companies that need it.
  6. Log into Facebook only ONCE each session. If it looks like Facebook is asking you to log in a second time, skip the links and directly type www.facebook.com into your browser address bar.
  7. Use a one-time password when using someone else’s computer.
  8. Log out of Facebook after using someone else’s computer.
  9. Use secure browsing whenever possible.
  10. Only download Apps from sites you trust.
  11. Keep your anti-virus software updated.
  12. Keep your browser and other applications up to date.
  13. Don’t paste script (code) in your browser address bar.
  14. Use browser add-ons like Web of Trust and Firefox’s NoScript to keep your account from being hijacked.
  15. Beware of “goofy” posts from anyone—even Friends. If it looks like something your Friend wouldn’t post, don’t click
    on it.
  16. Scammers might hack your Friends’ accounts and send links from their accounts. Beware of enticing links coming from your Friends.

Read the full PC Magazine Article.