I’m starting to enjoy these releases from Identity Finder; whoever is writing them is hooking me properly with their top 10 security tip lists. This one concerns ways to protect your identity while on the job, and it should be especially useful for the younger members of the summer job-force.
Can you add any other job security tips to their list?
TOP 10 SECURITY TIPS TO PREVENT IDENTITY THEFT AT YOUR FIRST JOB THIS SUMMER
Over a million college graduates and students will be starting a new job or internship this summer. Most of them will receive their first company computer and with that comes a brand new set of responsibilities they never considered. One of those responsibilities is preventing the theft of sensitive company data and their own personal information. Every two seconds an American has their identity stolen and over 277,000,000 data records of US residents have been exposed to date, due to security breaches.
Protecting a corporate computer helps you prevent your own identity theft as well as safeguard your company from unfortunate data leakage incidents. “Parents teach us to ‘look both ways before crossing the street’ but most of us didn’t grow up hearing, ‘make sure your password contains a number’ or ‘install the latest service pack,’” says Todd Feinman, CEO of Identity Finder, LLC — a company whose software helps prevent both of these problems. Identity Finder here provides ten simple tips to help you protect your computer at work:
1. Your password is a form of your identity and can be used to access your computer and all the information on it. Make sure it is at least seven characters, contains numbers, and upper and lowercase letters. Do not simply pick a word from the dictionary (or your name!) and add a number.
2. Peer-to-peer file sharing programs may allow people to access your company’s data and steal personal and private information. Configure these programs not to expose personal folders.
3. Microsoft releases Windows fixes weekly or monthly. Always update your computer as soon as possible after they are released and never wait more than a full month. These fixes plug holes that hackers know how to exploit to gain access to your files.
4. If you set up a wireless network in your home or office, make sure to use the security features to prevent people from joining. If they do join, it is easier to gain access to your computer.
5. Don’t leave your laptop unattended at the bar or coffee shop. Hundreds of thousands of laptops are stolen each year!
6. Don’t purchase anything online with your credit card unless the website is secured with SSL as indicated by a padlock in your web browser.
7. Don’t click on email messages that contain hyperlinks to websites. Close the email and type the website address in manually. Phishing attacks are increasingly common and attempt to trick you into visiting false websites to steal your personal information.
8. Never enter private company information on public computers such as in a hotel, library, or at school. These systems may be infected with a keylogger or spyware capturing everything you type.
9. Never email or instant message private company information. Those communications are usually not secure and can be listened in upon by other people.
10. Make sure you don’t store any personal or confidential information on your computer unsecured. (You can run the free trial of Identity Finder from www.identityfinder.com to see what private information is unsecured and vulnerable to identity thieves, if they access your computer.)
Identity Finder Home and Professional Edition software searches through electronic files and e-mails for personal information – such as social security numbers, passwords, and credit card details – and helps users securely shred or encrypt the data. Identity Finder, LLC is a leading niche innovator of security and privacy technologies. Founded in 2001 and headquartered in New York City, the company specializes in developing software solutions that meet business and consumer needs. Best known for Identity Finder and Velosecure CAM, the company’s technologies have been used by thousands of organizations in more than 40 countries. The management team is a thought leader in the industry and has been internationally published.
I went and took a look at the Identity Finder software, and I have to admit that it sounds pretty good:
Identity Finder searches the deepest recesses of a computer to locate and secure data that is vulnerable to identity theft – even when you don’t know it exists. The information is then presented to you to permanently shred, quarantine to a secure location, or encrypt with a password.
So of course, my first question was “why don’t they offer a version for Mac?” Ah well…