Don't be a Victim of Identity Theft

Remember when only superheroes had to keep their identities a secret? Now everyone has to. In today’s world, where criminals who may live on a different continent can access your bank and credit card accounts, or create new credit card accounts in your name so that they can make the purchases and you can lose your credit rating, guarding your identity is a top priority.

And it's not just individuals who fall victim to identity theft. One set of crooks purchased $70,000 worth of goods on a California law firm's line of credit, while another took 10 times that amount from a Pennsylvania school district's bank account.

If identity thieves can rob law firms, and are willing to steal from school districts, you know that ordinary people like us are in plenty of danger. You need to be proactive, doing everything possible to keep your personal information secure.

As a first step, remember that email is never truly private. Never send bank account or credit card account numbers, passwords, or social security numbers via email.

Second, don't repeat your passwords. Use a unique password for every program and website that requires one. And create strong passwords made up of seemingly random strings of numbers and letters (upper- and lowercase).

And no, you don't have to memorize all those random strings of numbers and letters. You can write them down somewhere, as long as that somewhere is also encrypted with a strong password. (And yes, while you don't have to remember all of your passwords, you will have to remember that one.)

Trend Micro Vault, which comes included with Titanium Maximum Security, makes it easy to create a secure, password-protected folder on your hard drive for essential files that contain your sensitive information. Without the password, nobody can access the files, including the one with your passwords.

You may find other Trend Micro Titanium features useful in protecting your identity. Data Theft Prevention protects your passwords and other important numbers. And Secure Erase will delete a file so that it cannot ever be recovered again.

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