According to the New York Times, "Half of American adults had their personal information exposed to hackers last year alone. I'm not surprised. I've cleaned plenty of viruses and spyware off of computers at my site WehoComputerRepair.com In a recent attack at the federal Office of Personnel Management, hackers stole the most sensitive personal data for 21.5 million people. "
This clever, quick questionnaire from the New York Times has you click on a few simple buttons such as "Have you opened an email account with any of these companies?" Then, on the left side of the screen, the number of times hackers have been exposed to your information is shown. Info like employment history, credit cards and health data are then cross checked to see how vulnerable you are. You might be surprised! To take the test just click here or on the graphic at left.
If you are concerned by the survey's findings the New York Times recommends "Review your account statements for any fraudulent purchases, as well as your credit report. Make sure you have different passwords for different accounts: in particular, don’t use the same password for your bank accounts, email and e-commerce accounts. If you were the victim of more than one breach, some security experts recommend freezing your credit. To do so, call Equifax, Experian or TransUnion and ask to have your account frozen. The credit agency will mail you a one-time PIN or password to unfreeze your account later. If you plan on applying for a new job, renting an apartment or buying insurance, you will have to thaw a freeze temporarily and pay a fee to refreeze the account. "
HOW DO YOU PROTECT YOURSELF IN THE FUTURE?
It’s pretty simple: You can’t. But you can take a few steps to make things harder for criminals. Turn on two-factor authentication, whenever possible. Most banking sites and ones like Google, Apple, Twitter and Facebook offer two-factor authentication. Change your passwords frequently and do not use the same password across websites. Vigilantly monitor your bank accounts and credit report. Do not enter sensitive information into websites that do not encrypt your connection. Look for a lock symbol next to the web address whenever entering sensitive information and do not enter it if you cannot see the lock symbol.
You can find more good consumer advice for folks in West Hollywood and Beverly Hills at WehoComputerRepair.com. More on this issue right here.