Part 1 of 3.
Criminals are always looking for new ways to catch people unawares and take advantage of them. They will use any means necessary to commit whatever crime they have in mind and a lot of the technology we use everyday leaves everyone open for a possible attack. There are quite a lot of things you can do to protect yourself and your family from becoming victims.
Part 1: Landlines, cell phones and leaving on vacation.
Always keep private conversations private. In order to ensure that private conversations are not being spied on these types of conversations should really be done in person and in a private location. Using any sort of telephone (landline or cell) your conversation can be easily spied on. You can purchase cheap devices at places like Radioshack that will allow you tap into any landline telephone.
Same goes for your cell phone. When it is not in use you should keep in unplugged and powered off. Cell phones are even less secure than landlines are and with the right technology your cell phone signal can be intercepted from just about anywhere. When your cell phone is on it can be tracked and even remotely activated so that the person snooping can hear everything being said around the phone. Also, there is quite a lot of personal information stored on your cell phone – from your social security number, your full name, your address, and even bank accounts and credit cards.
When you leave your home for any length of time, say for a vacation, always have the post office hold your mail. On that same note, if you do not have a mailbox with a lock on it – get one! Your mail is a goldmine of information for criminals to use to steal your identity; bills, checks, credit card offers, bank statements, you name it. Some people even go as far as renting secure mailboxes inside of their local Post Office to make sure their mail (and in turn their identity) isn’t being stolen.
Pay close attention to what is happening in your neighborhood and around your home; installing simple things like flood lights and security gates can deter a possible break-in. If you feel that you live in a less-than-safe neighborhood, consider purchasing firearms, pepper spray or stun guns to keep around your home in case of a break-in.
Always keep valuables hidden in your home; don’t leave things like jewelry boxes sitting on top of dressers in plain sight. Small portable fire safes are great for keeping your valuables safe from fire… but if a criminal finds one in your home, you saved them the trouble of having to collect your valuables in one place. They will simply pick up the tiny safe and take it home to break into later. If you need a fire-proof safe install one that is large enough to not be lifted easily by one person and make sure it is bolted secure into concrete.
Next week: Computers, spyware and deleting files.
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