7 Tips to Protect Against Identity Theft
In the digital age, there are plenty of opportunities for thieves to steal your personal information and use it for criminal purposes. In the 5 years between 2005 – 2010, 7% of households had a victim of identity theft*. The CHRIS WYLIE TEAM would like to offer these 7 tips for preventing identity theft.
- Protect your information – don’t give out personal information publicly. This includes Facebook, Twitter and email. If you need to provide this information to make a purchase or set up an account, do it over the phone or better yet, in person. Only give your information to a credible source, even over the phone. If a company calls you, verify who they are before giving them anything.
- Shred your junk mail – especially credit card offers. Thieves steal these things out of your trash and process them. You get stuck with the bill and the bad credit, they get the money.
- Protect your passwords – if you record them, keep them in a safe place away from your computer. Never carry them with you and never store them in a file on your computer. Use strong passwords with random characters.
- Use a separate account (preferably a credit card) for online purchases – this makes it much easier to dispute should something go awry.
- Never respond to any email that asks for personal information – if your bank or credit card company has an issue with your account, they will never notify you via email.
- Never carry your social security card in your wallet or purse – or extra credit cards for that matter. Keep the phone number for stolen credit cards in your cell phone so you can call immediately if your card is ever stolen r lost.
- Check your bank account statement regularly – also your credit bureau report. You can visit FTC.gov to find out how to get your free annual report. Never follow a link in an email to get your annual report.