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What to do if you suspect your personal Information Has Been Compromised

What to do if you suspect your personal Information Has Been Compromised

| September 14, 2017
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Identity theft can happen to anyone and it’s not always easy to know when your information has been taken until it is
too late. If you have reason to suspect your personal information (including email, computer passwords, online
passwords, etc.) have been compromised in any way, we recommend you take the following steps:

1. Run antivirus software immediately to determine if your computer is affected. Some excellent versions are
available free online, such as:
-Free AVG (free.avg.com)
-AVAST (www.avast.com
-AVIRA (www.avira.com)
-BitDefender (www.bitdefender.com)

2. A local computer store can also perform a thorough review if necessary. Be sure to change passwords to all online
accounts and store them in a safe place. Here is some general guidance on passwords:
-Reset passwords regularly using “strong” passwords – these contain at least 12 characters, and include at
least one capital letter, one lower-case letter, one number and one symbol.
-Passwords should not contain dictionary-based words, as these are easily cracked.
-Passwords should not contain personal information about a related or affiliated person (such as your
spouse, child, friend, work, date of birth, etc.). The longer and more complex the password, the better.
-Enable two-factor authentication on email accounts.
-Consider using a password manager, such as LastPass (www.lastpass.com).

3. Set up “open DNS” on all computers. Instructions may be found here: https://www.opendns.com/setupguide. This
puts a layer between the user and the internet that checks against a national database to block infected sites.

4. Call your bank(s) to alert them to monitor your accounts for unusual activity. Always keep in mind, no reputable
bank or financial institution will ask to authenticate information online. If a suspicious email is received that appears to
come from a financial institution, do not click any links and contact the institution immediately.

5. Remain vigilant to the possibility of fraud and identity theft by reviewing credit card, bank, and other financial
statements for any unauthorized activity. You can also obtain a copy of your credit report, free of charge, directly from
each of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies once every 12 months. To order a credit report, visit
www.annualcreditreport.com or call toll free at 877.322.8228.

6. Never throw away items that have your personal information on it. Always shred your items because a simple
magazine subscription with your name on it could put you at risk for identity theft.


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