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How to avoid becoming a victim of online identity theft

Hackers are becoming more and more advanced, and while you may think no one would ever target you because you aren't high-profile, it's simply not the case. Everyone needs to be vigilant these days, and our tech expert Amber MacArthur is sharing her essential tips for online safety for the whole family. 
 
Phishing
This is when a hacker sends a bogus link to try to get you to share information. It looks real, but it's not. A recent Gmail hack included an attachment that looked very realistic (when you clicked on it, it opened a new tab that looked exactly like Gmail login) but was infact a tool to expose passwords and private information.
 
Impersonating
This is when hackers actually steal your online identity in the hopes that someone close to you will divulge sensitive information because they don't realize the person they're talking to isn't actually their friend. Last year, someone set up a Facebook acct as Amber and started to add her friends and ask for money. 50 of her friends accepted the friend request and started to engage in conversation before she even found out. 
 
Tip: Use two-factor authentication to prevent account hacking. This makes it twice as hard for anyone to gain access to your accounts.
 
Webcam Spying
Most hackers utilize so-called trojan horse attacks by sending an attachment infected with malware that you unknowingly click on. The hacker is then able to remotely control your computer's functions, including accessing your cameras. This is an incredible invasion of privacy.
 
Online Safety Tips and Essentials
  1. Use camJAMR stickers to cover your camera (or tape can work in a pinch!)
  2. Don't use the default password (hackers can use sites like shodan to see vulnerable cameras)
  3. Keep all software and patches up-to-date
  4. Gadget to help: Bitdefender box
  5. Fraud: turn on bank notifications within app to monitor acct
  6. Identity theft : Do not share personal information when signing on to services or answering emails, cover your pin when using a bank machine, change passwords regularly
  7. Note: kids are increasingly victims of identity theft, so do regular credit check.
  8. Useful app: Try using Lastpass to manage all your passwords

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