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10 Tips to Reduce your Risk of Identity Theft

Whether you are a consumer or a small-business owner – help protect yourself by taking charge of your cybersecurity and personal privacy to reduce your risk of becoming an identity theft victim.

Breach fatigue – where both small business owners and consumers begin to ignore the headline news of identity theft and data breaches – can challenge both business owners and consumers to be less motivated to protect themselves against the risks of identity theft.

Be proactive and prepared to reduce your exposure to the risks of identity theft with my 10 tips to reduce your risk of identity theft including:

Personal privacy

  • Be more vigilant and hands-on with your personal-privacy settings and be aware that most apps lack basic security defenses and create some sort of a privacy issue.

  • Stop ignoring terms and conditions. Read, understand, and use privacy settings and be diligent about your social networking. Beware of fake accounts unless you want to be a partner in your own identity theft.

  • Protect your vehicle documents as if they were cash and regularly check for unusual activities after purchasing a vehicle or after it has been in the possession of others.

  • You need to read and understand the privacy policies of every organization you have a relationship with to know how your information is protected, saved, analyzed, sold and/or disclosed.

Identity theft

  • Synthetic-identity theft and fraud is an emerging threat. Check your credit-bureau report quarterly at no cost through

  • While no password is "unbreakable," do not make it easy for identity theft criminals by using weak passwords, or the same passwords.

  • The best defense against phishing is to be aware that it happens every day. Assume you are being "phished" until you verify the source of an unexpected e-mail or call.


  • Businesses need to understand that a data breach is inevitable. Your business profits, brand, and reputation depend on your data-breach response plan.

  • Create a data-breach response plan to safeguard your business against the insider threat by conducting pre-employment background screening, regularly testing your business and information-security access controls, and regularly reviewing your data-retention policy.

  • Cyber insurance may be a good option to help your business minimize today's cyber-risks. Work with your insurance broker to determine your cyber-risks and the best coverage for your organization.

To conclude, the saying "the best defense is a good offense" has been a strategic principle used in business, sports, and military combat for years.

Being proactive instead of having a passive attitude (e.g., breach fatigue) will help both small business owners and consumers be better prepared against the everyday challenges of hackers and the insider threat along with Phishing (fraudulent emails), Vishing (fraudulent phone calls and voice mail messages) and Smishing (fraudulent text messages) tactics.


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