In today’s digital world, email is one of the main ways we contact each other. 14 years ago, Congress signed a set of rules called the CAN-SPAM Act designed to protect consumer privacy and limit the amount and type of unsolicited marketing messages they receive.
Spring Clean Your Identity
Jackie here. Have you been neglecting your identity? In the daily hustle and bustle it is easy to let some important identity protecting tasks fall through the cracks. Just like you spring clean your house to get caught up once a year, take some time to spring clean your identity. Catch up on those tasks you’ve been forgetting and keep your identity a little safer. Here are some ideas:
Check Your Credit (and Clean it Up)– Have you ordered your free credit reports this year? Once a year you’re entitled to a free report from each of the credit bureaus. Get your reports by visiting annualcreditreport.com. If you notice any errors, correct them right away. If you see signs of ID theft, take action before the problem gets worse.
Opt Out– Are you getting unwanted credit card offers in the mail? Is your number on the Do Not Call Registry? Take a few minutes and opt-out to protect both your privacy and your identity. Here are a few opt-out options to consider:
Top Opt Outs from the World Privacy Forum– a great list of 10 opt-outs you should consider.
Shred– Unwanted paperwork can pile up. Take some time and get to shredding. Shred any paperwork with sensitive information that you no longer need, including old bills, medical statements and records, expired credit cards, bank statements, tax records, etc. Use a crosscut shredder to ensure your documents are really destroyed.
Change Your Passwords– Even if you’ve chosen strong passwords, it’s still a good idea to change them occasionally. If you haven’t changed your passwords lately, update them today!
Check Privacy Settings– When was the last time you checked your privacy settings on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social accounts? This help sheet will walk you through the process on many of your favorite sites.
Re-Read Privacy Policies– Privacy policies might not be the most interesting reading around, but they are important. Review the privacy policies at your favorite websites and be aware of what you’re sharing.
Update- Is your anti-virus software up to date? What about your favorite apps and plug-ins? Update your computer, run an extra security scan, and make sure you’re protected.
Delete Old Apps- Remember that heartbeat tracking app you installed and used only once? Now’s the time to say goodbye. Go through your apps and delete any that you aren’t currently using. In addition, double check the information you are allowing your current apps to access – many automatically request access to data they do not need.
What will you do spring clean your identity this year?