Beware Of Online Thieves

identity theftDid you know that Online Identity Theft Crimes are on the rise? Many consumers fall victim to online identity crimes due to the increase of shopping during the holiday season. It is important to be aware of certain emails that request personal information as a means of gaining access to the site. Be mindful when purchasing items on line that your personal information and payment will be requested at the end of the purchase, not at the beginning. Online Identity Theft Crime has become increasingly easy because most consumers are not as savvy on technology devices as the criminal.

Here are some tips that can help you protect your identity this holiday season:

  1. Use Strong Passwords:


Use different user ID / password combinations for different accounts and avoid writing them down. Make the passwords more complicated by combining letters, numbers, special characters (minimum 10 characters in total) and change them on a regular basis.


  1. Secure your computer:

Activate your firewall

Firewalls are the first line of cyber defense; they block connections to unknown or bogus sites and will keep out some types of viruses and hackers.

Use anti-virus/malware software

Prevent viruses from infecting your computer by installing and regularly updating anti-virus software.

Block spyware attacks

Prevent spyware from infiltrating your computer by installing and updating anti-spyware software.


  1. Install the latest operating system updates:

Keep your applications and operating system (e.g. Windows, Mac, Linux) current with the latest system updates. Turn on automatic updates to prevent potential attacks on older software.


  1. Protect your e-identity

Be cautious when giving out personal information such as your name, address, phone number or financial information on the Internet. Make sure that websites are secure (e.g. when making online purchases) or that you’ve enabled privacy settings (e.g. when accessing/using social networking sites).


  1. Call the right person for help

Don’t panic! If you are a victim, or if you suspect a computer crime, identity theft or a commercial scam, report this to your local police. If you need help with maintenance or software installation on your computer, consult with your service provider or a certified computer technician.

For more information contact the Tennessee Highway Patrol Identity Crimes Division at

615-251-5185. or visit our website at