Categorized as: credit card theft

Four Steps to Protecting Personal Information Online

Having your personal information, like home address and phone number easily found online can leave you vulnerable to identity theft or in danger to a stalker. If you care to make the effort, there are steps to conceal information available about you in many public record databases. Most can be done quickly and inexpensively, other methods can be more costly and time consuming.

Keep in mind, it is virtually impossible to completely remove information available about yourself from public record. Some public information can be controlled, while others can not. For instance, property transactions and most court records will always be accessible to the public domain.

These efforts below are very effective, but not guaranteed. Please follow these preliminary steps listed to do the best you can to protect you and your family.

Here are four effective, but simple steps to controlling information about yourself listed on the web:

1) Open a P.O. Box for both personal mail and bills. Submit a change of address to your new post office box. This is the most effective and inexpensive thing you can do to swiftly remove your current address from a majority of “search sites” and public record databases.

2) Having an unlisted telephone number does not make your telephone number invisible to the public. This is one of the largest the misconceptions people have about having an unlisted number. Un-listing your telephone number simply keeps it out of directory assistance and white pages. The best thing you can do to control the distribution of your telephone number is to start with a new unlisted number and block caller ID information from being displayed when you place phone calls. Telephone numbers that at one time were listed, and are later unlisted, are most likely already widely distributed in the public record domain.

3) DO NOT put your name, number or personal information on any form or application without checking to reviewing their privacy policy. You will be surprised to find out how many credit card companies, banks, financial institutions and government agencies share or sell your information unless you specifically request that they do not distribute it.

4) Mail a written request to all major search sites and information suppliers requesting your information be removed. Some will comply, others will not. Most reputable companies have such a policy in place and soon will offer assistance in helping you contact information companies willing to remove your information.

Trick Or Treat, Safely!

As the leaves fall and the weather gets cool one of the most festive, crazy and creative holidays is quickly approaching. It is loved by the young and old, the at home- costume doers along with the over the top house decorators. If it isn’t for the bags full of candy or the mystery of “who is behind the mask” you cannot help but enjoy some part of Halloween.

This post will be packed of little Tricks and Treats to keep you and you family safe next weekend.  With every one running around getting that last eye ball to glue on  or finding the ‘just right shade of white face paint’ we at Divas In Defense do not want you to forget that safety is key to a successful evening.

Before you or a group of your Lil’ Ladybug or Fireman friends head out; make sure you have completed your check list:

  1. Have route already planned out.
  2. Make sure designated watchers are assigned.
  3. Costumes are properly fitted with reflector tape or some type of light that can be seen by drivers and walkers.
  4. You can even make your own waterproof informational tattoo. All you need is a sharpie and clear nail polish!

Costumes – Beware! Of people in mask or face covering costumes. They are not only cool to scare but they are an easy way to disguise a person real intention.

Candy – Check your kid’s candy and ‘When in doubt, Throw it out!!! For adults this rule applies as well, check those party favors and punch bowls.

Pets- You will want to keep your cats indoors especially the unofficial mascot of Halloween the Black Cat. Some may take this opportunity to really bring harm to your for legged friend.

Fierce & Fabulous Divas 21+ – With so many goblins and ghouls roaming the streets on All Hallows’ Eve, things can get a little scary. Here are some Uber tips so you have a safe night with treats and no tricks.

  1. Make sure driver ID, type of car and plate matches.
  2. Pre dial 911 – so you can hit send ASAP
  3. Call someone beforehand, while in the car and once you have reached your destination.
  4. Place a business care or matchbook in your purse to ensure you return to your correct hotel.

Halloween can be a fun time of year for both children and adults alike. Whether you plan to get decked out in an elaborate costume and attend a haunted bash, take the kids trick-or-treating, or stay home and hand out goodies to all the ghosts and goblins who appear on your doorstep, the usage of these little tricks and treats will ensure everyone has a safe and fun Halloween.

The Great “8” Spring Break Safety Tips

The Spring Break season is steadily approaching. This is the time where teens and family do lots of travelling. It is important for Spring Breakers to use caution and discretion when visiting different cities. Below are a list of tips provided to assist travelers to their vacation and back in the safest way possible.

  1.  Never leave valuables in plain view in your car. Lock items in your trunk before reaching your destination.
  2. Before leaving your hotel, take a card from the front desk with the name of the hotel, phone number, and address, just in case you need help getting back. Also, put this information in your phone to be extra sure you have it.
  3. All genuine taxis will have some sort of ID or badge. Check for this before accepting a ride.
  4. If you ever feel unsafe, it is completely within your rights to abandon a taxi or any other ride service at a safe stop. Leave money behind on the seat and get out of there if you don’t feel safe.
  5. Try to go the ATM in groups, but avoid getting overly complacent about safety just because you’re traveling in numbers.
  6. When entering in your pin number, use your other hand or your body to cover the keypad. Just because you don’t see someone watching you doesn’t mean there couldn’t still be a camera capturing what you type.
  7. When you check in at the front desk, use discretion in saying your room number out loud for anyone in the lobby to hear. No one outside of your group of friends needs to know your exact location.
  8. Always keep an eye on your drink. If you go the bathroom, take your drink with you! Date rape drugs can be put into any drink, including non-alcoholic drinks. It is also important to remember that while drugs being slipped into drinks is something you should be aware of and guard against, alcohol itself is the most common date rape drug. In a 2007 study by the National Institute of Health, it was reported that 89% of female undergrad sexual assault survivors reported drinking before their assault. No survivor is to blame for their assault, but the links between alcohol and victimization are staggering and cannot be ignored.

How To: 6 Diva Tips for Stopping Stalkers

Did You Know One in Six Women Will Be A VICTIM of stalking?

Let me guess, you thought only celebrities had stalkers? Think again!

This growing epidemic which often leads to violence or murder, finally received its National recognition. On December 31, 2013, President Obama declared January as Stalking Awareness Month.

Here are 8 tips for you to protect yourself from being a victim of stalking:

1. Put a lock on your life!

Technology, although helpful, is a gateway to multiple types of crimes. We are often overly concerned with remembering our passwords, that we create less secure ones for our own comfort.
Create passwords that have high levels of security. Microsoft suggests having passwords with at least eight characters which DO NOT contain complete words.

2. They’re Free Anyway.

“Nothing in life is free.” Well, email can be! Using a simple “free email addresses” search on the web, we were able to find the “Top 11 Free Email Services” as of last month. Use multiple seperate email accounts for various purposes: personal bills and finances; a “sign up” account (for things you “sign up” for on the web); correspondence with family and friends; business

3. There Are No Reservations, You Do Not Have To Check In!

It’s understood how exciting it can be to stay social, using “selfies” and streaming video to connect with friends on the web. We strongly encourage not using the “check-in” feature on various apps to give your location until you are ready to depart. Apps like these keep an accurate account of your most visited areas making it easy to track and locate you.

4. Shredding Is Not Only For Cheese.

As hard as we try to be an eco-friendly Nation with electronic versions of everything; truth is, we still use paper. It would be understandably simple to mistake an overdue bill as junk mail when struggle is present. This is one of those good news, bad news scenarios. Good news: This too shall pass. Bad news: Personal Information and/or Identity Theft Invest in protecting your personal information, your local office supply store has inexpensive shredders (preferably one that shreds expired credit cards also)… Go get one!

5. Okay, You Are Cute! Now Put Your Badge Away!

If you are no longer at work, please take off your darn work badge. Do you realize having your name and workplace as a personal billboard is potentially life threatening? Someone can pose as a utility provider, mail man or jogger and have only those two things for you to feel comfortable enough to let down your guard if only for a few seconds. By calling your name and identifying where you work as a way to “me too” with you; those few seconds you are attempting to sort through your mental Contacts can allow an attacker to force his way into your home or you into his car.

6. Safeguard Your Smartphone

It’s funny how dumb our smartphones make us. Cell phones have evolved from a novelty to a necessity to many of us. Both parents and teens developed a dependency on them divulging every aspect of our lives willfully. It possesses our most personal photos; communication with family and friends and even our daily finances. If you could print all the information from your phone and put it in front of you, you would buy a vault to protect it. Add a simple pass code on your phone PIN, swipe or password to make your life line less accessible.

Find out how to “Prevent Your Ex From Cyber-Stalking

Don’t Be A Target: How To Protect Your Credit Card During The Holidays

Black Friday data breach will make a very UN-Merry Christmas for over 40 million customers as discount retailer TARGET becomes a target for credit card thieves.

Over 40 million TARGET customers were targeted in a major hacking that compromised accounts from all major credit card companies. Media giant, CNN, reported that cards used in Target’s brick-and-mortar stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, may have been impacted. Although, this is nearly impossible to protect yourself from these kinds of attacks; consistent monitoring of your bank and credit card accounts can alert you of unauthorized purchases.

Incorporating a few practices into your daily routine can help keep your cards and account numbers safe. For example, keep a record of your account numbers, their expiration dates and the phone number to report fraud for each company in a secure place. Don’t lend your card to anyone — even your kids or roommates — and don’t leave your cards, receipts, or statements around your home or office. When you no longer need them, shred them before throwing them away.

Other fraud protection practices include:

1. Don’t give your account number to anyone on the phone unless you’ve made the call to a company you know to be reputable. If you’ve never done business with them before, do an online search first for reviews or complaints.

2. Don’t give your account number to anyone on the phone unless you’ve made the call to a company you know to be reputable. If you’ve never done business with them before, do an online search first for reviews or complaints.

3. Carry your cards separately from your wallet. It can minimize your losses if someone steals your wallet or purse. And carry only the card you need for that outing.

4. During a transaction, keep your eye on your card. Make sure you get it back before you walk away.

5. Never sign a blank receipt. Draw a line through any blank spaces above the total.

6. Save your receipts to compare with your statement.

7. When using public ATMs and paying at gas pumps, make sure to “shake” the card reader before inserting card. Thieves often make mock readers and place them over ATM and gas pumps to “steal” credit card numbers and PINs. If the reader jiggles or is not secure, DO NOT insert your card! Alert store or bank if possible.

8. Open your bills promptly — or check them online often — and reconcile them with the purchases you’ve made.

9. Report any questionable charges to the card issuer.

10. Notify your card issuer if your address changes or if you will be traveling.

11. Don’t write your account number on the outside of an envelope.

For more information regarding credit card protection, please read “Protecting Against Credit Card Fraud” by U.S. Federal Trade Commission at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0216-protecting-against-credit-card-fraud

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