Easy Steps to Protect Your Online Identity

The FTC estimates that as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year. According to data compiled by Zone Alarm, maker of antivirus and firewall software, identity theft results in an average cost to victim of $4,841 and takes, on average, 33 hours to resolve. With more and more of our personal information available online, it’s imperative that you take steps to protect yourself online.

Nerds On Call Computer Repair - Identity Theft by  by Auntie P
Nerds On Call Computer Repair – Identity Theft by by Auntie P

Buyer Beware Ploy:  For as little as $30 in web hosting fees, criminals can set up fake online shop fronts to lure consumers into submitting their personal information and credit account numbers. Be wary of online retailers that you’ve never heard of, particularly if they’re offering a popular item at a lower-than-expected price.

If you can’t resist the deal, contact your credit card company to inquire if they offer one-time-use card numbers that you can use for vendors you don’t trust, or consider using a Visa or Mastercard gift card to protect your permanent account number. Never supply unnecessary personal information like your social security number, driver’s license number, or date of birth when completing an online retail transaction.

Pump it up, your password that is: I know, I know, I’m a broken record with this one. But if you’re one of the millions of Americans using the most popular passwords, such as “password,” “trustno1,” “abc123,” “monkey” or “letmein” (for the top 25 worst passwords, check out the list at SplashData: http://splashdata.com/press/pr121023.htm), you’re putting yourself at risk. Morgan Slain, CEO of SplashData (a provider of password management applications) explains, “Hackers can easily break into accounts just by repeatedly trying common passwords.” He recommends using an online password management tool. I like Lastpass (https://lastpass.com/) which can create and store unique, difficult to crack passwords for every site you visit online.

Don’t forget to Secure your Smartphone:  As more people acquire Smartphones, our personal information is going mobile. With instant access to email, social media accounts and often banking and credit account logins, Smartphones are an identity thief’s goldmine. Make sure that you password-protect the home screen to make it a little harder for a would-be criminal to access your data.

Consider storing account numbers and personal data that you regularly access (like bank account and passport numbers or alarm codes) in a cloud-based data vault program like that offered by Personal (www.personal.com/, free for iPhone and Android). Accessing the vault is password protected so it’s more secure than using notes, emails or texts stored on your phone.

Don’t ignore data breach notifications: With all the credit card offers, balance transfer promotions and junk mail sent by the average financial institution, it’s easy to tune out a form notification that your account data may have been compromised, but it’s important to take note. According to the “2013 Identity Fraud Report” compiled by Javelin Strategy & Research, almost 1 out of every 4 consumers that received a data breach notice letter became a victim of identity fraud. Of particular concern: “consumers who had their Social Security number compromised in a data breach were five times more likely to be a fraud victim than an average consumer.”

Take action: While the majority of identity theft activities are identified by third parties (55% vs. 45% discovered by consumers), it’s important to be proactive in your monitoring of account activity. The sooner you discover the fraud and take steps to close accounts and notify the appropriate parties, the less you stand to lose.

About The Author: Andrea Eldridge is CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, an on-site computer repair for consumers and businesses. Andrea is the writer of two weekly columns, Computer Nerds On Call, a nationally syndicated column for Scripps-Howard News Service, and Nerd Chick Adventures in The Record Searchlight.


  1. What i do not understood is in truth how you are not actually much more neatly-appreciated than you might be now. You’re very intelligent. You know thus considerably with regards to this topic, made me for my part consider it from numerous numerous angles. Its like women and men don’t seem to be fascinated until it’s something to accomplish with Woman gaga! Your personal stuffs outstanding. Always deal with it up!

  2. Somos una empresa dedicada tanto a la reparación de equipos electrónicos del hogar como a instalaciones y reparaciones de antenas, porteros automáticos, videoporteros, averías de electricidad, domótica, etcétera. Además de esto debe tener claro que nuestra asistencia se realiza de forma inmediata y que esto, a comparación de otros, no hace que los gastos sean mayores. Otro aspecto que debe tener en cuenta es que al contactar con nosotros un técnico profesional será el que atenderá su caso y el cual de forma inmediata podrá ayudarle. Así mismo, y en el caso de que el reparar su electrodoméstico tome más tiempo y deba llevarse al centro técnico, debe saber que contamos con electrodomésticos de cortesía. Finalmente debe saber que nuestro equipo es completamente profesional y que por ello solo trabajamos con repuestos completamente originales. Puedes confiar en los frigorífiocs BOSCH para la conservación de tus alimentos.

  3. An impressive share! I have just forwarded this
    onto a coworker who has been doing a little homework on this.
    And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him…
    lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah,
    thanx for spending some time to talk about this
    subject here on your internet site.

  4. This is the right site for everyone who wishes to understand this topic.
    You understand a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I
    really will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a subject that has been written about for years.
    Wonderful stuff, just great!

  5. Thanks , I’ve recently been looking for info about this subject for ages and yours is the best I have discovered so far. But, what about the conclusion? Are you sure about the source?

  6. Hey! I know this is somewhat off topic but
    I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this website?

    I’m getting tired of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another
    platform. I would be fantastic if you could point me in the direction of a
    good platform.

  7. Interesting article. It is rather unfortunate that over the last one decade, the travel industry has already been able to to deal with terrorism, SARS, tsunamis, flu virus, swine flu, as well as the first ever real global economic depression. Through all this the industry has proven to be strong, resilient and also dynamic, finding new methods to deal with trouble. There are generally fresh challenges and opportunity to which the field must yet again adapt and reply.

  8. Thanks for your beneficial post. Through the years, I have come to understand that the symptoms of mesothelioma cancer are caused by a build up connected fluid relating to the lining on the lung and the chest cavity. The sickness may start within the chest location and spread to other limbs. Other symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include weight-loss, severe deep breathing trouble, a fever, difficulty swallowing, and bloating of the neck and face areas. It needs to be noted that some people living with the disease tend not to experience every serious indications at all.

  9. Sharing some thing is superior than keeping up-to our self, therefore the YouTube video that is posted at this juncture I am going to share by means of my family and colleagues.

  10. I was suggested this blog by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my problem. You’re amazing! Thanks!

  11. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own weblog and was wondering what all is needed to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very internet smart so I’m not 100 positive. Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

  12. Good article. It’s very unfortunate that over the last 10 years, the travel industry has had to take on terrorism, SARS, tsunamis, flu virus, swine flu, plus the first ever entire global recession. Through all this the industry has proven to be sturdy, resilient and also dynamic, locating new strategies to deal with adversity. There are continually fresh difficulties and possibilities to which the marketplace must once more adapt and behave.

  13. I’m also commenting to let you know what a superb discovery my friend’s girl went through using yuor web blog. She picked up many issues, with the inclusion of what it is like to have an awesome coaching mood to let many others very easily know precisely specified very confusing matters. You truly exceeded our own expectations. Thank you for imparting those important, dependable, revealing not to mention unique tips about the topic to Jane.

  14. Wonderful goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you are just too fantastic. I actually like what you’ve acquired here, really like what you are saying and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still care for to keep it wise. I can’t wait to read far more from you. This is actually a terrific website.

  15. Something more important is that when you are evaluating a good on the internet electronics retail outlet, look for web stores that are consistently updated, keeping up-to-date with the most up-to-date products, the top deals, and helpful information on products. This will ensure you are doing business with a shop which stays on top of the competition and give you what you ought to make educated, well-informed electronics buys. Thanks for the important tips I have really learned from the blog.

  16. I precisely wished to thank you so much yet again. I do not know the things that I would have created without the type of tips documented by you regarding that topic. It was before a very challenging situation in my view, nevertheless encountering a new specialized fashion you managed it forced me to leap over fulfillment. Extremely happy for the guidance and thus hope you know what a great job your are carrying out teaching people by way of a site. Most likely you haven’t met any of us.

  17. Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this blog. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s hard to get that “perfect balance” between superb usability and visual appearance. I must say that you’ve done a amazing job with this. Additionally, the blog loads super quick for me on Internet explorer. Outstanding Blog!

  18. What i do not realize is actually how you’re not actually much more well-liked than you may be now. You’re so intelligent. You realize thus considerably relating to this subject, produced me personally consider it from numerous varied angles. Its like women and men aren’t fascinated unless it is one thing to do with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs great. Always maintain it up!

  19. I do enjoy the manner in which you have framed this specific concern plus it does indeed present me personally a lot of fodder for consideration. Nonetheless, because of what precisely I have witnessed, I basically hope as the actual opinions pile on that men and women stay on point and not embark on a soap box regarding some other news of the day. All the same, thank you for this excellent point and though I do not agree with it in totality, I respect the standpoint.

  20. The other day, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iPad and tested to see if it can survive a 25 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  21. Thanks for the new things you have revealed in your post. One thing I’d really like to comment on is that FSBO relationships are built after some time. By presenting yourself to the owners the first end of the week their FSBO is announced, before the masses start off calling on Friday, you make a good link. By sending them tools, educational products, free accounts, and forms, you become a strong ally. Through a personal desire for them and also their circumstance, you generate a solid network that, most of the time, pays off once the owners decide to go with an agent they know and trust — preferably you.

  22. My brother suggested I might like this website. He was entirely right. This post actually made my day. You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

  23. Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your webpage? My blog is in the very same niche as yours and my visitors would certainly benefit from some of the information you provide here. Please let me know if this alright with you. Regards!

  24. I wanted to jot down a simple message to say thanks to you for some of the splendid facts you are writing here. My time intensive internet look up has at the end been honored with incredibly good facts to write about with my close friends. I ‘d suppose that many of us visitors actually are extremely fortunate to dwell in a wonderful place with so many wonderful professionals with helpful tips. I feel quite blessed to have discovered your weblog and look forward to tons of more excellent times reading here. Thanks a lot once more for everything.

  25. I was just seeking this info for a while. After six hours of continuous Googleing, at last I got it in your website. I wonder what is the lack of Google strategy that don’t rank this type of informative web sites in top of the list. Usually the top sites are full of garbage.

  26. The other day, while I was at work, my cousin stole my apple ipad and tested to see if it can survive a thirty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now destroyed and she has 83 views. I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here