TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. After the Equifax breach in September, now is the time to make sure your personal information stays safe on your devices.
According to Kansas Insurance Commissioner, Ken Selzer, usernames and passwords aren’t enough to protect your online accounts. He recommends making them strong by using numbers and symbols.
Keep all of your devices up to date, this will reduce the risk of a virus. Many times the updates are patching security holes. If you see something that was sent to you and it looks suspicious, delete it.
Once you open a suspicious link that allows easy access for a hacker to have all of your information and your personal data is exposed forever. But can you ever get your information back?
“You’ll likely never retrieve it. Don’t count on ever retrieving it. Always count on being diligent about monitoring your accounts after you’ve been advised to that,” said Selzer.
Just in case your information gets compromised, make sure you have it stored in a secondary place beforehand. Next, you can set the privacy and security settings on websites. Finally, your personal information is like money. So be cautious of posting your location or purchase history since anyone can have access to it. Selzer said if things get too bad you can try freezing your credit reports. There may be some restitution if your information has been breached, but nothing that will get your info back.
Selzer said if you’ve repeatedly been a victim of identity fraud under your original social security number there is an option for you. You can request to change your social security number with the Social Security Administration. There are a lot of websites that market access to your credit reports, Selzer said the official one is annualcreditreport.com.
You can also click here for more help.