Identity theft is one of those things that you think won’t happen to you until it does. Recovering from identity theft can often take a lot of time and money. You need to figure out exactly what has been compromised, spend hours getting reports and affidavits to prove the fraud, and work to get your identity back.
While you can never completely protect yourself against identity theft, the good news is that there are several measures that you can take to greatly reduce your risk of having your identity compromised.
Be Vigilant With Unknown Callers:
Most of the time, a number that you don’t recognize flashing up on your smartphone screen is completely innocent. It could be a legitimate company that you’re already a customer with calling to offer you a better deal, a new employer calling with a job offer or even a friend who’s changed their phone number.
But sometimes, an unknown caller could be looking to get information on you for the wrong reasons.
That’s why it’s always important to be vigilant regarding unknown callers and verify that they are legitimate before you give them any information.
Nuwber is a great service to use as all you need to do is enter the number into the search field and it will bring up names, addresses, additional numbers, and public records for your caller.
Place a Fraud Alert on Your Credit Report:
A fraud alert attached to your credit report makes it more difficult for identity thieves to open accounts using your name, as it warns lenders to confirm your identity before they move forward with any applications.
Getting a fraud alert put on your report is free and easy; all you need to do is request it from one of the three credit bureaus. You’ll also get a free copy of your credit report, which you can review for any suspicious activity.
Monitor Your Bank Accounts Online:
Creating online accounts for your bank, credit cards, and loans allow you to easily keep an eye on them and spot any suspicious activity immediately.
Log in regularly to check your account and ensure that no unauthorized charges have been made. It’s also important to make sure that you keep your login information for any financial accounts secure by using strong passwords, not writing it down, and never share it with anybody.
A password manager tool can be ideal as it will keep track of passwords for you.
Protect Your Social Security Number:
If it falls into the wrong hands, your social security number can do a lot of damage to your credit report and can even be used to steal your identity by savvy criminals.
Because of this, it’s important to keep your social security number as safe as possible. Avoid carrying your social security card in your wallet and don’t write it down anywhere, send it to anybody over public Wi-Fi connections, or enter it into a website that isn’t secure.
If you need to verbally give your social security number to somebody, be wary of who might be listening or watching.
You can also sign up for SSN monitoring services such as IDShield to protect it from getting stolen.
Pay Your Bills Online:
Making bill payments online isn’t just more convenient, it can also help protect you against identity theft. If you mail bills, there’s a higher risk that the checks can be stolen out of your mailbox.
When paying online, make sure that you do so on a secure network like your home Wi-Fi.
Falling victim to identity theft can be easier than you think, so keep these tips in mind to protect yours.
The Daily Buzz combines the pursuit of interesting and intriguing facts with the innate human desire to rank and list things. From stereotypical cat pictures to crazy facts about the universe, every thing is designed to help you kill time in the most efficient manner, all while giving you something to either laugh at or think about!