Source: Top 4 New Year’s resolutions – and how to protect your identity – The Cincinnati Insurance Companies blog

This post provided by CyberScout

The transition to a new year is a time for self-reflection. Many attempts to become a better you, however, can jeopardize your identity. Follow these tips to protect your information:

Get in shape. Ready to hit the gym and search for your elusive six-pack abs? When you apply for membership, be cautious about how much personal information you give. If you are required to provide a Social Security number or copy of your driver’s license, don’t be afraid to ask how the gym keeps that information safe.

Identity thieves target gym lockers for wallets and purses, so bring a strong lock and choose a locker in the most high-traffic, visible part of the locker room. Ask the gym what they do to ensure security (for example, cameras, employee background checks, locked doors)

Get organized. As you clean out your file cabinets, look for personal identifying information, including your Social Security number, bank account or credit card numbers and date of birth. Before throwing away any financial statements, past taxes, medical records or other documents containing such information, you’ll need to shred them.

While you’re organizing your physical files, consider getting your computer organized for the New Year:

  • Make a backup of your hard drive. A timely backup can help mitigate the damage in a malware or ransomware attack.
  • Update your antivirus and malware protection software.
  • Make sure your operating system is up to date. When the Petya ransomware attack hit in 2017, it targeted vulnerabilities in the operating system on computers that weren’t updated.