Discreet Investigation Service

How to Protect Yourself From Hackers, Scammers & Phishing


You hire investigators like us to find out key information about someone else. As investigators, we have a variety of ways to do this, and we know the ways in which people let their guard down and leave us easy ways to get important personal information. And if someone like us can get information without breaking any laws, imagine what an unethical thief with no problem with breaking the law can find! Here are some easy ways to keep your important information away from prying eyes.

First, it is important to dismiss a common myth that for $19.99 and in under 30 seconds, you can purchase a full background check over the Internet. These offers are by no means accurate and most of the information these sites offer can’t be legally obtain without proper paperwork in under 5 to 7 business days. For example, a criminal history in New York, a license plate check in Connecticut, a national criminal search, financial information and most of what they claim cannot be researched and vetted in 30 seconds. That's not to say license plates or criminal history is not public record but most states have a procedure for information disclosure, and it's not Internet-based.

The most common situations and platforms that cause people to put their identities and/or personal information open for exploitation are:

  • Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)
  • Signing up for rewards cards or discount cards at favorite stores
  • One of the biggest threats are email/computer virus warnings and phishing scams.

Most people think that because they do not post their birthday or social security number on their social media accounts that they are safe, but unfortunately, everything someone posts can provide important information to who a person is and can provide information about them to the wrong kinds of people.

Every time you sign up for a rewards card, newsletter, etc. you are sharing information that can be sold to other companies. One should always keep in mind that personal information such as addresses, telephone numbers, and even places you frequent are avenues for people to get information about you.

If an email or computer warning requires you to submit information or call a telephone number, this is most definitely a scam. If you are unsure how to fix a virus, call professional IT support.  Do not send sensitive information or credit card data via email as it is an insecure method of communication.

Finally, if anyone contacts you and tries to use authority or position to get personal information, verify who you are speaking with before you provide it. Your credit card company or car warranty service, should not have to call you to verify the personal information they already have. This is a phishing scheme.

Although there is no 100% way to prevent identity theft, other than going "off the grid," tips will help to reduce your vulnerability. At the end of the day, the less information you share about yourself through the Internet, the less opportunities there are for others to exploit your identity. Remember, there is more ways to get information on someone then just a birth date or social security number.