What is a personal information cyber-attack? A cyber-attack is a type of criminal activity where an individual or an organization target computer information systems, networks, or personal computer devices by various means through ‘hacking’ into the computer infrastructure. Cyber-attacks are used to collect information that can affect an individual, or other entity such as a business, which leads to identity theft and identity fraud
Identity Theft is when personal information is taken for use by a criminal without permission. A common theft is the use of a person’s social security number, date of birth, and even personal address. Identity Fraud is when that information is used to make purchases, gain employment or healthcare, open or modify existing accounts. All of these are damaging to one’s personal credit and the individual may not be aware of the fraud until being contacted by a creditor.
Although there may no way to prevent a cyber-attack from obtaining your information, there are a few things that may reduce your risk:
- Access your credit report and check for errors. Under Federal Law, you’re entitled to one free credit report per year from one of the main credit reporting agencies which are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. You can log ontowww.freecreditreport.com, which is maintained by Experian, and select that you would like to receive your free report containing information from all three agencies. The information you receive from all three agencies should match. If not, you will need to file a dispute with the agency that has the incorrect information.
- Close credit card accounts that you are not using. Leaving accounts open with a zero balance is now considered a risk because of your potential to max out that available credit, or have a cyber thief do it for you.
- Pay for on-going credit monitoring. Alerts are sent to you via text message, email, or you may receive a call from your credit monitoring serve when a new account is being opened, or when there is a change to your credit report.
For more information regarding the safety of your investment portfolio, feel free to contact our Las Vegas Financial Advisory office.