You lock your doors when you leave the house, avoid sharing your ATM PIN and guard your purse or wallet.
These days, however, that isn’t enough. You need to protect your electronic devices and information as well. Viruses, malware and hackers are all lurking out there. If they gain access to your devices, those devices could be damaged or destroyed. Even worse, you could possibly lose vital personal or financial information.
To protect yourself from these threats, it pays to treat your electronics with the same care you extend to your home, ATM PIN or billfold. Here are five threats you can use to protect any electronic device.
- Get smart about email. Most of us know to never open attachments from people we don’t know. But today's hackers are smarter, and many viruses or malware are now sent from spoof email addresses made to look like your friends. Other comes from the inbox of a friend who has mistakenly opened something they shouldn’t have. Reading your emails in plain text reduces your risk of infection. You should also hesitate before opening any attachment—even one from a friend. If you weren’t expecting it, it’s better to call your friend and check before you click.
- Invest in anti-virus software. Don’t make the mistake of putting off purchasing anti-virus software because you think a cyber attack could never happen to you. It can—and when it does, it’s often too late to do anything about it. There are several anti-virus software options available, so check out the reviews and see which one is best for you.
- Install firewalls. If you have an Internet connection, you need a firewall. Firewalls can help prevent your electronic device from becoming infected, so make this hassle-free upgrade today.
- Keep on top of the scammers. Remember that long-lost relative who lived in a foreign country and left you a bunch of money? And all you have to do is send a small stipend to move the process along? Of course you do, because we’ve all gotten that email about a thousand times. Today’s scammers are smarter. They’re upping their game to get you to click, send money or open an attachment. Read consumer protection magazines, websites and columns to stay on top of the latest scams.
- Create passwords. Do you use the same password for everything because it’s easy to remember? Unfortunately, it’s also easy to hack. It's much safer to choose different passwords for all of your electronic devices and to change them frequently.
Unfortunately, no measure is 100 percent fool-proof. That’s why you’ll also want to consider Identity Recovery and Fraud Reimbursement Coverage. It can help you undo identity theft damage and reimburse you for covered losses like lost wages, administrative expenses and even some legal fees. It protects everyone in your household, including your children. An Erie Insurance Agent can tell you more about this affordable coverage.