Techman Texts: Identity theft expert offers seven tips on prevention

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This list of seven measures to protect yourself from identity theft came to TechMan's email, and he thought it worth sharing.

• Understand how and where it happens. Most thefts occur at your place of business. Either a business is robbed, an employee acts improperly or a hacker breaches the office computers.

• Secure your wallet's information. Photocopy everything in your wallet -- photos, credit cards (front and back), membership cards -- and place them in a strongbox or safe.

Tech Talk: How to protect yourself from identity theft

The PG's Ced Kurtz offers tips on how to protect yourself from identity theft on this week's "Tech Talk." (Video by Melissa Tkach; 1/28/2014)

• Make sure your information is consistent. All personal information should be accurate and consistent on financial and identity documents. Discrepancies can hinder proving your identity and can compromise your credit score.

• Secure your digital habits and data. Change passwords at least twice a year on a nonscheduled basis. Have a strong firewall if you shop online, and only access sites that are protected by a strong firewall and high industry standards. Access accounts of a financial nature only from your personal computer.

• Protect your banking information. While in the bank, keep account numbers and other data out of sight, and avoid stating account numbers, Social Security numbers and similar information out loud.

• Account for your interactions with vendors. Every time you do business by phone, write down the time, date, name and the purpose or outcome of the call. If an identity theft occurs on the vendor's end, you will be able to reference these prior conversations effectively.

• Don't carry around your birth certificate or Social Security card. Keep those vital items in a safe or a firebox. If someone needs a copy of your tax returns or your driver's license, for example, make the copies ahead of time. This avoids a firm's employee leaving the room with such information.

Use cash more often, advised Scott Merritt, author of "Identity Theft Do's and Don'ts," who compiled this list. "But if you're going to use credit, use a card from a national bank or a national credit union and never a debit card, no exceptions."

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G-fail: Google said the widespread Gmail blackout Friday that disconnected as many as 42 million users for up to an hour was caused by an internal software bug, according to The Washington Post.

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Eyes in the sky: By the end of the year, the Army may send up two giant blimps to hover 10,000 feet above Baltimore with the ability to see 340 miles in any direction (not reaching quite to Pittsburgh), according to the Washington Post.

The 243-foot-long blimps will be tethered to the ground and will have powerful radar and cameras scanning for threats. They only have to land once a month for maintenance.

That means the mid-Atlantic could be under "persistent surveillance," a dream for those in the intelligence biz and a worst case for those who care about privacy, says Motherboard.vice.com. Cost so far is $4.1 billion.

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Website of the week: Want to add a little class to your insults? Try the Shakespearean insulter at www.pangloss.com/seidel/Shaker/, Thou errant flap-mouthed maggot-pie!

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Nerd quote of the week: "Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one." -- Bill Gates

Send comments, contributions, corrections and condemnations to pgtechtexts@gmail.com


First Published January 27, 2014 11:46 PM

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