Experts Offer Online Security Advice

Experts Offer Online Security Advice

With all the news of hacking and identity theft, the online world can be a scary place. To arm members with the knowledge they need to protect themselves, the SAG Hollywood Division held a special presentation titled Protecting Yourself in a Cyber World on December 7, 2011 at SAG headquarters in Hollywood.

Featuring James Saxe, senior manager of Reputation.com; FBI Special Agent Richard P. Ryan; and Steve Martinez, associate director of FBI Los Angeles Field Office, the discussion offered practical advice on how to minimize the risk of being ripped off or having your identity stolen. It also examined the best ways to protect your investments, best practices when working for multiple employers and why seniors are a favorite targets for fraudsters.

Ryan offers his top 10 recommendations to minimize your exposure to fraud and identity theft:

•             Wiring money is like sending cash; the sender has no protections against loss.

•             Don’t send money to someone you don’t know.

•             Don’t respond to messages (emails, phone calls, text messages or ads) that ask for your personal or financial information.

•             Don’t “play” the foreign lottery or respond to emails and letters stating you have won: You have not won!

•             Don’t agree to deposit a check from someone you don’t know and then wire money back, no matter how convincing the story.

•             Read your bills and monthly statements regularly — online or on paper.

•             Your trash becomes public property the moment you place it at the curb or put it in the trash bin; anyone can legally access it.

•             Shred all of your personally identifying documents, even the unsolicited credit card applications you receive in the mail.

•             Don’t place outgoing mail and bills in an unlocked mailbox overnight; mail theft is a common way to become victimized financially.

•             Ask your waiter or waitress to conduct your credit card transaction in front of you at the table, if possible.

•             Check your credit report AT LEAST once per year.