In the digital age, many organizations have access to our personal information. By granting access, we relinquish a fair amount of data control and ultimately make ourselves vulnerable to potential cybercrimes, including identity theft. That’s why it is so important to do what you can to protect yourself.
As overwhelming as it seems to safeguard your personal data when it is stored in multiple places, you can take steps to help retain your privacy and keep sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands.
Protect your information using the following tips:
- Turn on automatic updates. Boost security on your devices by keeping your operating system and software up-to-date.
- Use screen locks. An unlocked phone or computer could provide thieves with access to personal or financial information. Set a pin or strong password on all of your devices (e.g., at least 15 characters in length with varied capitalization and special characters).
- Cover your laptop’s webcam. Cyber criminals can turn on a laptop’s camera without the owner’s consent. Place a piece of tape or post-it note over the camera to thwart their attempts.
- Avoid sharing personal information. Don’t ever use your full name, address, birthdate, or phone number on social media.
- Monitor your accounts. Take advantage of account monitoring services or frequently check your accounts for suspicious activity.
If you think your privacy was compromised or your identity stolen, look for the following clues:
- Unauthorized withdrawals from financial accounts.
- Unauthorized charges on your credit cards.
- Bills for services or items you did not order.
If you notice any of these indicators, immediately contact the agencies or companies that oversee your personal information.
For more information on how to stay cybersafe or to report suspected threats, visit the CyberSafe at USPS® websites on Blue (blue.usps.gov/cyber) and LiteBlue (liteblue.usps.gov/cyber), or the public-facing website at uspscybersafe.com.
— Corporate Information Security Office,
Chief Information Security Officer
and Digital Solutions, 1-18-18