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We’ve rung in the New Year and declared our resolutions. Some of you may have already thrown in the towel on your resolutions and vowed to try again next month! But did you know that many attempts to become a better you can jeopardize your identity and put you at risk for a data breach?

Getting in shape

Did you vow to hit the gym and search for your elusive six-pack abs? When you apply for membership, be cautious about how much personal information you give. If you are required to provide a social security number or copy of your driver’s license, don’t be afraid to ask how the gym keeps that information safe.

Identity thieves target gym lockers for wallets and purses, so bring a strong lock and choose a locker in the most high-traffic, visible part of the locker room. Ask the gym what they do to ensure security (cameras, employee background checks, locked doors, etc.)

Getting organized

As you clean out your file cabinets and go through all that paperwork, look for personal identifying information (including your social security number, bank account or credit card numbers, and date of birth). Before throwing away any financial statements, past taxes, medical records or other documents containing such information, be sure to shred them and not just throw them in the trash.

While you’re organizing your life, why not take a few hours to get your computer organized for the New Year?

  • Make a backup of your hard drive. A timely backup can help mitigate the damage in a malware or ransomware attack.
  • Update your antivirus and malware protection software.
  • Make sure your operating system is up to date. When the Petya ransomware attack hit in 2017, it targeted vulnerabilities in the operating system on computers that weren’t updated.

We wish you the very best on meeting your goals in 2018. Let us know how you are doing!

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