Many people do not realize how easily criminals can obtain our personal data. In today’s society technology makes it that much simpler for hackers to find your credit card information and steal your identity. Here are a few tips to help protect your identify.
1. Protect your Social Security number.
Don’t carry your Social Security card in your wallet.
2. Scammers pretending to be banks, stores or government agencies.
Bottom line: Never give out your personal information – unless you made the contact.
3. Tricky Passwords.
Use different passwords for all your accounts. Make those passwords strong with at least eight characters, including a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols ( +r0^gh@h@+-#asd$ )
4. Be mysterious on social networks.
What you share on social networks (your home or email address; children’s names; birth date and so on) is what tech-savvy thieves use for scams, phishing, and account theft. Don’t over share.
5. Shield your computer and smartphone.
Protect your personal information on your computers and smartphones. Use firewall, virus and spyware protection software that you update regularly.
6. Click with caution.
7. Check your bank statements.
Check bank statements right away for any unauthorized charges or withdrawals and report them immediately. Call if bills don’t arrive on time. It may mean that someone has changed contact information to hide fraudulent charges.
8. Stop pre-approved credit offers.
Stop most pre-approved credit card offers. They make a tempting target for identity thieves who steal your mail. Have your name removed from credit bureau marketing lists.
9. Check your credit reports – for free.
One of the best ways to protect against identity theft is to monitor your credit history. You can get one free credit report every year from each of the three national credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
10. Ask Questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions when a business or agency asks for your personal information. Ask how it will be used. Ask how it will be shared, and how it will be protected. Explain that you’re concerned about identity theft. If you’re not satisfied with the answers, consider taking your business somewhere else.
Read More at Department of Justice