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How to Protect Your PII

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How to Protect Your PII


Protecting your Personally Identifiable Information (PII) should be priority number one for all of us. Taking the initial steps to protect your PII is of vast importance nowadays, but what can someone do to ensure that their PII is as protected as it can be? 

Sharing Your Social Security Number.

The next time you are asked to share your Social Security details, stop and think. Is the person requesting your information from a bank, a credit bureau, or some other entity required to report to the IRS? If not, do not share your information. Identity theft relies on a valid Social Security number—the more organizations that have it, the less protected you are. If you are not sure why a bank or organization is requesting your Social Security number, call them and ask.

Social Media Accounts

There is an incredible amount of personal information available on social media profiles, including birth date, relationship status, location, schools attended, employment information, and more. Cybercriminals can use this information for social engineering purposes: they answer security questions, hack into companies, and launch highly personalized phishing campaigns. Make sure that your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media privacy settings are locked down with two-factor authentication and resist the urge to share private information online.

Public Wifi 

Public Wi-Fi can make traveling easier, but be careful about how you use it. It’s pretty easy for criminals to set up a “free Wi-Fi” network, so before joining, confirm the name and password with the staff of the coffee shop or library. A VPN (virtual private network), which encrypts traffic between your device and the VPN server, is one of the best ways to keep your browsing session private. In addition, force your browser to use HTTPS. Remember to ALWAYS log off and tell your devices to “forget” any public networks when you are finished. 

Creative Security Answers

Nowadays most places require you to answer security questions to confirm your login information. If you make the answers to the questions easy, that also makes it easier for hackers to access your information. Make the answers creative and as difficult for someone else to guess or piece together as possible. 

Strong Passwords

Strong passwords are essential for protecting your PII. Creating a password that is unique and difficult for hackers to guess is of key importance. Try using symbols, capital letters or numbers to spice up your passwords, and try not to use the same password for more than one account. 

Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are very common nowadays, and it can be easy to fall for one. If you are questioning if an email is a phishing scam or not, do not open the email. It can pay off to be too safe in certain situations like this. 

Monitor Your Credit Reports Closely 

Monitor your credit reports and financial accounts daily for suspicious activity. Also, scan your credit reports for unusual activity, such as accounts or cards that you did not open. 

Don’t Give Up Your Data Easily

Make sure you are aware of how companies are using your data. Always ask questions on how they ensure to protect your personal information. No question regarding your PII is a dumb question. 

Representation for Compromised PII 

If your personal information has been breached and your identity has been compromised, Maginnis Law’s data breach class action attorneys can help determine the damages that you incurred from the breach, and help you seek reimbursement for your losses. You can reach our attorneys by phone at 919.526.0450 or by email at info@maginnislaw.com. 

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