Are You Defending Yourself From Cyber Attacks?

When global retail giants Target, Home Depot and Sony got hacked and personal information was jeopardized, data security, once again, became a hot topic of conversation.

Of course you know you should do more to protect your identity, but let’s face it, data security is like public health: There’s only so much you can do to shield yourself, and even that is reliant on other people or companies. Unfortunately, as evidenced above, these same entities can obviously be careless with your information.

To this end, when people aren’t careful, the Internet can become a virtual playground for criminal activity. Whether you’re checking email, banking information or doing some online shopping, you have already put yourself at risk of having your identity stolen.

Criminals have developed several ways to obtain personal information from innocent Internet users. According to the United States Department of Justice, cyber criminals can take over an individual’s identity to conduct a wide range of crimes, such as fraudulent withdrawals from bank accounts, because victims usually don’t become aware of the criminal activity until substantial and irreversible damage has already been done. And while punishable under state law, identity theft remains difficult to prosecute for a variety of reasons.

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