How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft – 6 Tips

Social-Media-SafetyDo you know how protect yourself from identity theft and related issues? If you don’t then you need to be really worried. According to statistics from the Bureau of Justice, about 15 million people in the US fall victims to identity (ID) theft. This costs the economy a whopping $ 50 billion every year. It means that 7% of all adults are at risk and will likely lose $3,500 when it happens. So, what can you do to safeguard yourself?

1. Properly Destroy All Private Statements and Records

Don’t just tear up the bank balance statement or credit card details and throw them into the trash bin. Also, you shouldn’t just crumble solicitations and other documents. What you need is ensuring they are completely destroyed. Go for a high quality shredder that cuts the documents and bank cards into very tiny pieces. You may also consider burning the paper documents.

2. Safeguard Your Mail

Are you aware that mailboxes are a good source of information about you? Many unscrupulous individual will access your mail and access personal and confidential information. You can stop this from happening by opting for a Post Office box. A good alternative is installing tamperproof mail boxes and making certain they lock properly. Avoid sending checks and bill payments through the home mail box.

3. Keep Your Social Security Number Safe

Don’t carry your social security card or any other document containing the number (health insurance card) with you. Losing it or momentarily misplacing it gives another person the opportunity to get your full details. It’s also crucial not to pen it down on checks as ID thieves may access your bank account details or credit report.

4. Avoid Leaving Paper Evidence

How often do you simply trash the ATM receipt into the bin after withdrawal? Many people have unknowingly lost their identity after thieves accessed the information from the receipt after an ATM withdrawal, filling at the pump, or paying using a credit card. Always destroy the receipt instead of throwing it inside the litter bin.

5. Keep a close Eye on Your Credit Card

Credit card is without-a-doubt a big source of personal information. Unscrupulous people will use many schemes to get the information. And this may happen even in the least suspected places; for instance, a high-end hotel. The Golden Rule is to never lose sight of your credit card. Always insist on the operator reading/swiping it in your presence. Also, lookout for strange looking devices placed inside ATM card slots.

6. Keep Your Computer Secure

Keeping your computer secure is a very important element when it comes to keeping your identity safe.  We store and send so much personal information on our computers these days that it’s stupid not to protect it as well as you can.  Ensuring that you have proper antivirus and antimalware software is the first step.  Activating security elements such as password-protecting your operating system is another important step to take, especially for laptops which can easily be stolen.  Follow a security blog such as Martinus Tech or two to stay on top of the latest in computer security tips.

7. Be Very Cautious When Giving Vital Information

Before giving your personal, bank account, or credit card details, first analyze the situation then be a bit inquisitive. Some situations may not need such information yet the service provider will insist on it. Always ask why the information is needed and when in doubt walk away. Better to be slow than sorry.

Theft of identity is a thorn in the flesh and the society needs to make concerted effort. Many people are unaware that someone is posing as them, and those who do realize while it’s too late. At this time, you may have your lost lots of money as well as credibility. Do not become a victim. Take action by following the above tips on how to protect yourself from identity theft today.

Data Backup Methods

data-backup-drive-thumbnail-largeData is one of the most important resources in an organization: it helps the organizations operate efficiently. Day to day decisions are made with respect to the data in the organization’s system, organizations can’t afford to loose it as it would lead to massive losses. Data backup is the procedure of making a duplicate copy of the data in the system or a computer and storing it in a different location so as to be used if the data in the main system or computer is lost or corrupted. Data backup is essential not only to organizations but also to individual, data that is important to a person or an organization should be backed up to avoid the losses that come with data loss.

Data backup can be done in external drives, flash disks, the cloud etc. Today the most famous tool used to do data backups is the cloud, this is due to the ease of backup and the ease of access of the backup, also cloud data backup can be accessed from anywhere in the world.

Data backup methods

1. Full backup method.

This is a method of data backup where the entire data set is backed-up. In this method, an identical copy of data set is every time the backup happens. Although this method provides the best data protection, most people and organizations prefer it during the first time but for the subsequent turns, other methods are used this is because this type of data backup is time-consuming, occupies a lot of space, slow and consume network bandwidth at high rates. This method of data backup is suitable for small data sets its major advantage is the ease of data restoration as it is almost straightforward and fast.

2. Incremental backup method.

This method of data backup tends to save disk space by backing up only the changed or created files/portions since the last backup. This method is efficient on space as the volume of data backup done each iteration is much small (only the changed or created part). Other advantages of this method include low consumption of network bandwidth. The cons of this method include the process being slow as each and every file has to be compared to detect changes or new files this makes the process complex, also, doing data recovery from a certain date could be harder and consume a longer period of time in comparison to the other methods.

3. Differential backup method.

This method is similar to incremental method except for the fact that the backup operations will store the new and updated files or portions of data since the last full backup. The advantages of this method are that it shortens the restore time compared to incremental backup. The cons of this method include the fact that more storage space is required and also network bandwidth in comparison to the incremental method.

4. Virtual full backup.

This method uses a database to manage and track backups. In this method, a full copy of data is needed only once and it will not be needed again if the backup medium remains unchanged. In virtual full backup, synchronization of the backup is done to the database on a periodic basis. Recovery of data backup using this method is easy and entails selecting the recovery point and the data to recover.