Millions of people had been victims of identity theft last year. This year has no difference; in fact, the numbers were increasing each day. As a committed organization aiming to help each people avoid such threats through our writings, we prepared some tips below that can help you protect your identity and safeguard yourself from possible financial loss.
Regularly change your passwords
For example, you can take care of your financial accounts by regularly changing their passwords. And if possible, your passwords should also contain a combination of characters, numbers, and symbols.
Ignore or delete suspicious emails
This kind of email is often used for phishing scams. One example is an email indicating it is from your trusted bank and telling you to provide your personal and financial information or else your account will be “frozen”. Note that cybercriminals can duplicate logos and can use official-sounding language. Legitimate banks will never threaten you this way through emails. If such email bothers you, contact your bank directly.
Check your statements
Make sure to carefully review your checking and other financial accounts on a regular basis. Quickly contact your bank or other financial services provider if you noticed some abnormal charges.
Invest in a paper shredder
Some people are used to simply throw away their old bank and investment statements, applications for new credit cards and other documents with their private information in the trash bin, leaving their private and financial information in the hands of fraudsters. Remember that your trash is their treasure. They could get important data about you in your garbage.
Request for your credit reports
Particular credit reporting agencies are often required by law to provide their customers one free credit report each year. Examine your credit report with scrutiny to ensure that your name, address along with your other personal information is correct. If you discover an old or incorrect data have it removed immediately.
Put a fraud alert
Place a “fraud alert” on your credit report if you suspect that you have been a victim of identity theft. Contact a specific credit reporting agency to discuss this matter and decide if it’ll be a short-term or long-term alert. Request a special, one-year alert if you are an active member of the military.
Keep your Social Security card at home
There’s no major reason to bring your Social Security card outside, right? You can leave it in your house to prevent identity thieves from stealing it. In addition, be extra careful when someone asks for your Social Security number in person or online. One of the exceptions is your tax preparer of course.
Get rid of all your digital data
Do this if you are going to sell or throw away your computer system or hard drive. Certain products in the market allow you to completely remove data on hard drives since some identity thieves can recover deleted files from a formatted drive.
Do you have further questions regarding phishing scams, internet fraud or identity theft? Please don’t hesitate to contact us today! We will be glad to assist you.