Anyone using the internet should take steps to protect themselves online from fraud, scams and data breaches. Your information is likely being collected whenever you visit a website; the owner of the website is collecting information such as how many times you’ve visited the site and which links you’ve clicked. Identity theft is a big deal and a serious headache for consumers… let me tell you why. Consumers will have to comb their credit reports for fraudulent activity for months or years to recover from identity theft. 

The internet allows users to be anonymous, which provides enough separation from the victim that the paper trail can be difficult to chase. The victim’s information and income can be tangled up for months or years. 

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I told you it is a headache. Take steps to protect your identity online is a smart approach.

Steps to protecting your identity online :

  1. Protect the information thus far by not sharing yours or other information entrusted to you either over the phone, email or social media
  2. Avoid phishing, pharming, and email hacking by taking these steps
    • Don’t open emails that are requesting your personal (sensitive) information
    • Don’t open emails from people you don’t know with subject line phrases with poor grammar or misspellings
    • Be cautious and ignore knockoff emails (example:
    • Verify the information email is from a legit establishment (searching web for information) and ignore emails determined to be fake
    • Don’t provide any confidential information such social security number, date of birth, maiden name
  3. Shred all paper trails with contact information, date of birth, credit card numbers
  4. Choose pin numbers that are not your last four digits of your social security, birthdates or maiden name.
  5. Choose passwords unique password with mixture of numbers letters and symbols
    • Ensure the website has up to date anti-virus software
  6. Ensure that financial transactions pursued on the internet are not an unsecured wifi network

We need to remain vigilant and protect our identity online opening the wrong email can cause unnecessary headaches, if you want to avoid the pain, take the steps listed below:

Steps to avoid online scams :

  1. Avoid clicking on links within a suspicious email,. Hackers can spy on you should they have malware connected to the link.
  2. Avoid calls or emails requesting that you update your contact information.
  3. Check your social media settings and set privacy settings, block anyone you don’t know.
  4. Search the web for your name on fake accounts.

FDIC. (2017, March 20). Cybersecurity Awareness Basics. Retrieved from Consumer Protection Topics – Cybersecurity:

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Nelson Hill Bookkeeping and Accounting Services

3052 SW Hillsboro Highway
Hillsboro, OR 97123


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