By Diane Braswell / Published June 2020
There is no question that modern technology has changed the way we live. Technology has made us more efficient and open to the outside world. With the internet, you are able to affordably communicate with people from virtually anywhere around the world as well as save time by handling a good portion of your financial business online (banking, shopping, and bill paying). With these advances comes a price. As we become more open to the world, so does our personal information, and our risk for identity theft or fraud is heightened.
Below are some measures you can take to help protect yourself from the bad characters lurking in the digital world. Follow these tips to help prevent having your data stolen or your computer disabled.
Be careful about sending personal information such as banking information and social security numbers through electronic communications such as email, text, and discussion boards. Also, never accept IMs (Instant Messages) from strangers, as they could be trying to collect your information.
If you are shopping online, make sure you use a store that employs security measures. When you are at the checkout screen, verify that the web address begins with https, which provides an extra layer of security by encrypting the communication protocol. Also, check to see if a tiny locked padlock symbol appears at the bottom right of the checkout screen or that there is a statement on the checkout screen stating that the pages are secure with a security technology vendor.
Install anti-virus software on your computer and keep it updated. Make sure that the software(s) you are using provides protection from all types of threats such as viruses, spyware, adware, and spam.
Updated browsers often contain additional security measures to help protect you. Hackers prey on people utilizing out-of-date browsers with weaker security measures.
Monitor your banking account(s) and credit information weekly and sign up for automatic alerts when one of your accounts is accessed.
Vice President, Technology and Digital Marketing, Leland Management
Diane Braswell is the Vice President of Technology and Digital Marketing for Leland Management, a full-service community association management company serving more than 40 communities throughout Florida. Diane has been with Leland Management for more than eight years and is curren-tly responsible for all of Leland’s information technology, cybersecurity, and digital marketing. During her time at Leland, Diane, who is also a licensed CAM, has worked closely with community association managers to best utilize technology to enhance communications and improve the technology experience for all of the residents in the communities we serve. Prior to her career at Leland, Diane spent more than 15 years consulting with companies on emerging technologies as well as enhancing more traditional media and marketing campaigns. For more information, visit lelandmanagement.com.