"Target to pay $18.5M for 2013 data breach that affected 41 million consumers”
“Home Depot hackers used vendor log-on to steal data, e-mails”
The Oakland County Medical Society realizes that the information of your patients and your business is very important. We would like to provide you with information as we approach October, which since 2004 has been designated National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). This annual campaign to raise awareness about cyber security is led by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance.
What steps should you, as a business owner, manager or individual take to keep your information safe?
- Fraud Monitoring – choose financial institutions, credit card companies, etc. that offer monitoring of your accounts as one of their benefits and take advantage of them.
- Setting up alerts – to go with your monitoring, set up alerts if they offer them, so you are alerted if there is a problem with your account. You can also set up alerts if transactions exceed a certain amount.
- Always keep your eyes open – I know we’re all very busy but vigilance is important here. Check your banking and credit card accounts regularly for fraudulent activity. Request a copy of your credit report at least once a year for inaccuracies. Information on how to do this is available at www.ftc.gov
- Practice good cyber hygiene – follow important rules when you are on the internet – change your password regularly, create complex passwords or PINs, keep your anti-virus software updated, watch for phony email messages, don’t stay on your bank website for long periods and close the browser immediately when you are done, be careful of the types of websites you give your personal information.
If you suspect you have been the victim of a data breach or identity theft, go to the Identity Theft Resource Center, a non-profit for U.S. consumers, for step-by-step instructions, form letters and other resources for theft resolution. At the top of that list, contact your financial institutions to report fraudulent activity and close accounts that were tampered with or fraudulently established. You should also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and a police report depending on the level of fraud. You can also request credit monitoring services or a credit freeze from the credit bureaus.
*Thank you to the Merrill Lynch - The Spickler Wealth Management Group in Bloomfield Hills for their assistance in writing this blog. For more information go to http://fa.ml.com/SPICKLERGROUP