EVERY DAY IS INTERNET SECURITY DAY – Advice from the Social Security Administration

The Social Security Administration provides a monthly newsletter with key information and tips on Social Security. Included in the June newsletter was an article about online security. The article about staying safe online coincided with a June 21st RIIA® webinar on identity theft. Below is summary of the article (read more on this and other Social Security-related articles at www.socialsecurity.gov).

Do you know what it takes to be safe online? You probably connect daily to get information, shop, socialize, or work. Every time you go online, you need to avoid the risk of theft or fraud. Here are some tips to use while visiting the Social Security website and the other websites you use.

  • Use Strong Passwords–Strong passwords have at least eight characters and include capital letters, numbers, and non-letter characters.
  • Don’t Recycle Passwords–Although it requires effort to think of new passwords constantly, it provides safety when you do.
  • Take Advantage of Multifactor Authentication–Many websites offer the option to use a second factor—or method—in addition to just a username and password to ensure that only you access your information. Beginning June 10, 2017, Social Security requires multifactor authentication to access a my Social Security account. Visit this link to find out more about how to secure your personal my Social Security account.
  • Read Scam Alerts–For information about fraudulent activities related to Social Security, you can find information at our blog Social Security Matters under the Newsroom section at blog.socialsecurity.gov. Social Security’s Office of the Inspector General investigates fraud involving Social Security and they publish Fraud Advisories. The Federal Trade Commission website publishes information about scams.
  • Review Your Online Accounts and Credit Reports–Review your earnings record with Social Security for accuracy at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount at least annually, as well as your bank and credit card accounts, for accuracy. Get a free copy of your credit report available annually from the three credit reporting agencies – Experian, Equifax, and Transunion – and check it for incorrect entries.

Protecting your identity can be daunting. Guarding your personal information requires investing some time, but is worth it. Discourage theft and fraud by adopting these security practices when you use the internet.

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