Protect Yourself from Hackers Thieves and Scammers

1Check your privacy settings on your social networks (Insiders Tip: Your privacy settings on Facebook are only as good as your friends).

2Don’t re-use usernames on the web.

3Don’t ever use your real telephone number when communicating with someone on the web. Instead, use something like Burner or Hushed.

4Use shitty passwords at your own risk (or get something like LastPass, 1Password or Dashlane).

5Never reuse your main email password on other websites.

6Change your password. Now! (And change it regularly.)

7Set up Find My iPhone (Apple) or Android Device Manager so that you can erase all your personal data, should your device be lost or stolen.

8Use two-step authentication wherever and whenever you can.

9Review your credit report regularly.

10Place a security freeze on your credit.

11Set up a lock-screen pattern, pin or password on your mobile devices.

12Shred everything that is not junk mail. Everything! (I use the Fellowes Powershred 99Ci)

13Use a VPN!

14Don’t ever give away your personal information (Social Security number, banking information, etc.) to people who contact you out of the blue.

15Watch what you click, especially those salacious links (and learn how to spot a phishing or spoofing email).

16Use anti-virus protection.

17If you insist on signing up for that “free giveaway,” use a disposable email address.

18Sign up for the “Do Not Call list to stop telemarketers.

19Always be skeptical about everyone and everything, even emails from your “friend” who is stuck in the airport in Ghana and needs money.

20Don’t give in to pressure tactics, even if it’s for some sort of donation for a “disaster relief.”

21Keep up with the latest scams and urban legends.

22Don’t buy products or services from shady websites.

23Do your homework (there is this handy website called Google!). Make sure the people and companies you are dealing with are 100% legitimate.


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3 replies
  1. Al Hall
    Al Hall says:

    As a guy who spends a lot of time in hotels, I would add a few things:

    1. VPNs are good, but your data still has to go from your computer through the hotel’s router before it gets to your VPN. I use my personal hotspot.

    2. If you travel a lot, it might be a good idea to not drive a flashy car, especially if you stay at a hotel where your car stands out.

    3. Avoid personalized license plates that brag about your status (e.g., “Rich Man”, “Ken Wins”, etc.).

  2. Private detective manchester
    Private detective manchester says:

    My biggest annoyance (though sometimes it has cracked a case for me) is people who leave personal information on display in vehicles. Passenger seats are a wealth of information. Bank cards, personal letters I.D. cards etc.
    I’ve even seen driving licences left there which (in the UK at least) give home address, dob, full name.

  3. Charles Patterson
    Charles Patterson says:

    Good points, all.
    With the amount of info stored on our smart phones, I always advise clients to keep control of their phones at all times. A common problem situation is handing your phone to someone else (even a complete stranger at times) to let them take a photo of you. Especially at tourist spots. That person has no feeling of care or responsibility for what is on your phone. They could accidentally drop it or someone could snatch and grab it on the run, and you would left empty handed.

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