Credit 101: Bureaus, Reports & ID Theft

Credit Is More Than Your Card 

When your information is exposed in a data breach, it can cause panic and concern. Who can I trust? What should I do? And who has access to my information?  

The good news is that some of the most effective preventative measures are already within your reach. Your credit information – paired with the right credit protection tools – can help defend against fraud and identity theft after a data breach event.  

Industry experts (including those of us at EZShield, too) often suggest that consumers check their credit reports, consider placing credit freezes or fraud alerts, and contact the three major credit bureaus.  

Each of us understands the concept of credit from our own perspectives. Credit typically means “buy now, pay off later.” Credit scores indicate our lending risk and credit reports are often reviewed to rent an apartment, apply for a loan or open new credit card accounts.

So, let’s look at how credit works, how your credit reports can help you spot identity crime, and additional tools you can use to further protect your credit information.   Continue reading

Keep IoT Security In Mind: Infographic

The… Internet… of… What? 

When you hear “Internet of Things,” or see its abbreviation “IoT,” it may feel rather foreign. But the concept of IoT is simply the connection between humans and Internet-connected devices.  

Today, IoT is so much more than just your smartphone or computer.

You’ve seen IoT in action if you’ve ever used an Alexa or Echo Dot home device. You’ve used IoT if you’ve ever sent a document to a wireless printer.

You may even wear IoT devices if you own FitBits, iWatches or other types of step counters. 

Surprised IoT is more familiar than you thought?

If you’ve read our previous posts about the risks of using unsecured Wi-Fi networks, you can see how IoT security is more relevant than ever. While IoT is an integral part of our everyday lives, many devices lack proper security standards. The unfortunate truth — while convenient, IoT is quickly becoming another way for criminals to access your personal information. Continue reading

Looking Back on the Equifax Data Breach

The Calm After the Storm 

When you hear that 143 million Americans were affected by the Equifax data breach, it’s natural to feel a bit on edge.

It’s scary to know that you may have been involved in a data breach. The size and scope of the Equifax data breach makes us wonder: what happened to our information, what should we do, and how can we protect our information in the future?

We want to make sure you’re taking full advantage of your Identity Protection Program powered by EZShield. Our award-winning products and services are here to help you secure, monitor and restore your information – especially after security events like these. 

If your information was exposed in this breach, don’t panic. Below are some common misconceptions about data breaches and identity crimes, as well as ways your identity protection can help you navigate through them.

MYTH #1: “Securing my information won’t help.”

Fact: Preventative steps are your best defense against identity crimes.

Identity crime is inconvenient, stressful and seems to always happen at the worst moments. Information exposed in a breach event is more likely to be misused in the future.

Education and preventative measures are such an important, yet often overlooked, component of identity protection. The unfortunate truth is that criminals often wait to misuse breached information.

Why? Because identity thieves want to stay under-the-radar for as long as possible.

Secure Your Information

Take a proactive approach to protecting your personal and financial information. We recommend you take the following steps to prevent criminals from misusing your information in the future:

Step 1: If you haven’t already, create an online account by visiting your online Identity Protection dashboard. To take full advantage of all the preventative benefits included in your Identity Protection, you’ll need to create your online account.

Step 2: Store your information in your Online Identity Vault™, a safe place to keep personally identifiable information (PII) such as credit and debit cards, Social Security numbers, medical IDs, bank accounts, drivers’ licenses and more.

Step 3: Generate strong passwords for your online accounts, and store them in your Password Manager.

Step 4: Don’t forget about education! Take advantage of our monthly email notifications packed with valuable identity protection tips from EZShield’s industry experts, as well as updates on major data breaches and scams in the news. Continue reading

Mobile Messaging (Pt. 2): Best Messaging Apps 2017

Secure Messaging Matters 

In Part 1 of our Mobile Messaging series, Laura discussed the importance of using secure mobile messaging apps and how to choose the best messaging apps on the market. 

  • Messaging apps reveal more personal information than we realize.
  • Secure messaging is important because criminals can extract information from our messages that can lead to a variety of identity crimes.
  • Three features every secure mobile messaging app should have:
    1. End-to-end data encryption
    2. Ability to permanently delete messages
    3. Limited metadata storage 

This month, we’ll explore some of today’s most popular mobile messaging apps and see where they stand when it comes to security. By highlighting some of the best messaging apps on the market, we hope to help increase your messaging security. Continue reading