Cyber crimes have expanded so rapidly that it’s almost become exhausting for law enforcement. Gone are the days where career criminals needed to physically break into a property or “rob a bank” to steal your money, technology has changed the game completely. Like most great inventions, there are always those who capitalize on using these great creations for evil. As internet speeds continually increase and more daily functions go online, we are able to be more efficient in our jobs and in our personal lives. Unfortunately, our burning desire to share almost every detail of our lives on social media also makes us a pretty easy target for those criminals who know what they are doing. Our first thought of a criminal is some big thug looking guy with a gun in one hand and a knife in the other. When in reality, you are much more likely to be a victim of a skinny kid with a laptop than you are of a thug.
Some basic precautions you can take is to make sure you use complex passwords for all your logins. A good rule of thumb is to make it at least eight characters long including one capital letter, one number, and one special character. One of the worst things you can do is set your password to something personal. Never use only a date of birth, social, address, school name, family name, pet name, or location. Use the thought process of if a criminal was your closest friend, they too would not be able to figure out your password.
When it comes to social media and protecting your physical property, there are a couple of things you may want to consider. We all love posting pictures of our fabulous vacations but get in the habit of posting once you return. There is nothing worse than advertising to the world that you aren’t home and won’t return anytime soon. It’s a good practice to let your posts be after the fact and don’t advertise upcoming trips. Here’s another small tip. When you do take these vacations, make sure someone collects your mail each day. With identity theft on the rise, personal mail is a treasure chest of information thieves rely on to create false identities. It’s a good idea to invest in a credit monitoring service like LifeLock to help protect your identity.