October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, and here at Bearce Insurance we are constantly on the lookout for ways to ensure your information stays safe. There are many ways that your information can be compromised online. Despite this, one study shows that 6 out of 10 people who own connected technology don't have privacy or cybersecurity concerns related to their connected devices. No one is immune to cyber-attacks, so it's important to understand the risks and steps you can take to reduce that risk.

Beware of the personal information you share on social media. Information such as birth dates and where you were born can be used to steal your identity. Shred all documents containing any identifying information and avoid using checks for personal purchases as they contain your bank account and routing numbers. 

Avoid using the same or similar passwords across multiple accounts - if you're hacked, rather than lose access to just one account, you risk losing access to multiple accounts at once. This is especially important when it comes to online banking accounts. Always use different passwords for each online account you register, and never include easy to guess information such as the season, year or personal details such as your name, date of birth, or names of pets in your password. 

Check credit card statements, annual social security statements and watch bank accounts for suspicious activity. Banks usually monitor for unusual transactions, but a second review of your balances once per month is worth considering. Report any fraudulent charges to your banking institution ASAP after discovering the charge, and request a new card be issued on any compromised accounts. 

Cyber security in the digital age is an ever-changing landscape, with new risks every day. While it's important to balance these concerns with common sense, the fact is that our everyday interactions on the internet leave us open to risk. You can minimize those risks by being aware of who you are sharing your information with, and taking steps to protect yourself in the event of an information breach. 

From your friends at BEARCE Insurance.