When someone uses your personal information in order to commit fraud that is known as identity theft.  Identity Theft has become an increased threat in today’s digital age.  Hackers gain access to your personal information such as your social security number, mother’s maiden name, date of birth or your bank or credit card account numbers and then they use them in a variety of ways.  A hacker might take your information and use it to open a credit card account, change an existing credit card account number, open bank accounts, even obtain loans!

The rise of technology and convenience features can give hackers more access to your personal information than ever before.  If you have a digital assistant like Alexa or Siri and are wondering what risk they present, continue reading.

Digital Assistants Like Alexa
All digital assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri use voice recognition with artificial intelligence in order to be a more efficient assistant.  What this means in plain speak is THEY ARE ALWAYS LISTENING!  As you can imagine, that can create some opportunities for hackers to steal your identity.  If you love your digital assistant, we understand, below you’ll find some tips to help you protect your identity and make sure you are secure.

  • Make Sure Your WiFi is Secure. Make sure that you have a strong password and that you cannot be connected to outside of your home. If possible, create one WiFi network for your smart-home device and one to use for banking, shopping, browsing etc.
  • Turn Off The Mic. The device is always recording so if you don’t want private conversations compromised, when you are not using it, turn off the mic.
  • Delete Recordings. Just like your web history, digital assistants store your information and recordings in the cloud, which makes it easier for hackers access.  While this can make these devices be less catered to you specifically, it also makes it more your private information easier to attain.
  • Regularly Strengthen Your Passwords. Having the same password for everything puts you at a major risk and makes you vulnerable. By changing your passwords every few months, you can protect yourself from hackers.
  • Change The Word That Activates It. Alexa is the default name to activate your Amazon Echo. However, Alexa may be able to pick up strangers voices through closed windows and doors giving them full access. By changing the word that activates these devices to something unique, a stranger will find it more difficult to access your information. 

We hope you found a tip or two on this list useful.   We want to do all we can to help you protect your identity.  After all, we’re your biggest fan!  For more tips, tricks and helpful banking info, be sure to find us on Facebook.