Over the last few years Identity Theft has been a growing concern because the number of victims of credit fraud — and identity theft has grown considerably each year.
Most Identities are either stolen online or thieves can further access to online accounts with information they’ve acquired or stolen off-line.
The last thing you want to happen is for someone to steal your identity and have access to your bank, credit cards, or anything else. Once these characters have someone’s identity, they don’t let up until they can get all they can get until they’re stopped.
The good news is that there are proven identity theft prevention solutions you can put into practice to keep your identity safe today.
1. Protect Yourself From Phishing Scams
Phishing scams are in the form of email spam that try to fool you in giving them your account information either by asking you to “update your information” or to sign into a fake sign-in page, so they can gain access to your account information.
These scammers are clever and will use logos and look authentic in order to dupe you to thinking they are a possible company you may have an account with such as PayPal, your Bank, Credit Card company, Netflix, or any other online entity. Generally, you’ll be able to tell if it is a fake by the destination URL (where your link goes to).
In addition, your company will not request you to update your info or ask for personal information over email.
You can always login to your account page by visiting the page without clicking the link in the email and most companies will alert you to account changes, if any, when you log-in to your account.
2. Strengthen Your Passwords
Simply strengthening your password can help you secure your accounts and protect your personal information from hackers attempt to gain access to your account, even if they have your account name or email address.
Some accounts will ensure you use strong passwords by requesting that you use at least 8 characters that consist of at least one number and one Uppercase letter.
3. Protect & Clean Your Computer
Updating your operating software and web browser whenever there are updates and ensuring your computer’s fIrewall is on is the first step of ensuring your computer is protected.
Ensuring your computer is clean of viruses and spyware, will also help ensure to protect your computer, your documents, and keep your login details concealed from hackers when you login to your online accounts.
4. Enforce Privacy Settings for Social Network Sites
Just about everyone has a Facebook account these days or has joined another social network. It is possible that anyone can see all your wall posts and the information that you posted about you in your social profile if your privacy settings are not preventing access to anyone but your friends and family.
Make sure you’re aware of the privacy options that are available to you for each network and ensure that only information you wish to be revealed to specific audiences is revealed – and nothing else. This will keep you safe from prowlers looking for easy targets to exploit
5. Protect Your Pin
Cover your PIN for any of your cards with your free hand when punching in your personal number to protect your PIN from someone seeing it and recording it. Also be aware of those who are around you and that they are not looking over your shoulder, whether when you’re at an ATM or using your card or at a nice restaurant
6. Check Credit Score for Unusual Activity
When you check your credit score every once in awhile you will be able to see if something is out of the ordinary. Credit Scores generally range from 300-850, which is a numerical representation of your credit report, which is collected by major credit agencies such as Equifax, Experian and Transunion.
A score under 600 or so could be concerning and make you aware of some suspicious activity, especially if you are certain that you had a relatively good credit report previously.
If you are not aware of what your credit score is you can get your score here for Free. There is no credit card required to check for your score. Check your credit score for free now so you know what it is today.
7. Don’t Carry Sensitive Documentation Unless Necessary
Unless absolutely necessary it is best to keep sensitive documentation such as your social security number at home in a safe place.
Thieves can get a ton of information from social security numbers and make it quite easy for them to steal your identity, which can wreak havoc with your life.
These tips should be able to help keep your identity protected if you stay vigilant and aware of how to protect your personal information.