SignalVault Blog RSS

credit report, credit scores, Equifax, Experian, free credit report, TransUnion -

These two questions are so common and so important. Knowing when to check your credit report and what you should look for can not only help to improve your score, but it can save you if there’s an error or fraudulent activity.  Credit reports contain all the details of your payment history as well as your debit-to-credit ratio. Unless you have a specific reason to review it—you’ve been the victim of identity theft or you’re planning to request a loan—checking your report annually is probably okay. Everyone is entitled to a free credit report each year from each of the...

Read more

anti-malware, hackers, locator app, passwords, private browsing -

Can you imagine life before the Internet? For many of us, it’s difficult. And while being online is of paramount necessity to our daily lives, lack of privacy is a serious concern and privacy itself, may be becoming obsolete. The internet can be a scary place, full of viruses and hackers, but it is also so easy, so informative, and so much fun—who can give it up?  Unfortunately, anytime you go online, you’re making yourself vulnerable. Your personal information is valuable, both to businesses and to high-tech thieves—keep it safe by following a few simple steps.  Strong Passwords—Create difficult passwords...

Read more

credit bureaus, fraud alert, fraudulent activity, identity theft -

Identity theft is a major concern of many Americans. If your identity has been compromised, what you do next is very important. Acting quickly and reporting the fraud can save you time and money.  There are many types of identity theft and they can happen one at a time or all at once.The most common forms are:  -Applications for new credit -Fraudulent withdrawals from your bank or savings account -Credit card fraud -Fraudulent use of medical care -Social security or tax and employment fraud  A single compromised account is considered credit card fraud, not identity theft. However, it can be...

Read more

ATM, EMV chip cards, skimmer -

It’s extremely frustrating to have your credit or debit card information stolen. It’s a serious violation of privacy and it not only costs time and money, but it makes us feel unsafe while doing normal, everyday things like pumping gas or using an ATM.  One reason companies and retailers are switching to EMV cards, cards embedded with the chip, are to protect against the use of skimmers. However, there are still plenty of places that only take the magnetic strip swipe, making vulnerability to skimming a concern.  A skimmer is a tool that is utilized by thieves to steal credit...

Read more

credit card chip, EMV, encrypted -

As I’m sure you've noticed, the way our credit cards are processed has changed due to the embedded “chips” on them. Instead of swiping our cards at check out, we’re now asked to insert the bottom of the cards into a “chip reader” for payment.  Lots of jokes have been made about the new system—mainly that it takes a really long time and that it’s a bit confusing because not all retailers have it. Standing in line for coffee could now take a few extra minutes and you’ll often see people swipe when they’re supposed to insert the card and...

Read more