Tips to Protect Your Identity from Cyber Thieves
There are several tried and true ways that you can use to protect yourself from ID theft, and some of them you might have never even considered:
Check Your Passwords – Every online account you have should have a different password. Never use the same password for more than one account. You can easily fix this issue by using a password manager. Also, don’t use specific words/phrases or keyboard sequences when creating passwords. A password manager can even generate passwords for you.
Don’t Post Personal Information on Social Media – This including things like your kid’s school or teacher, the town your parents live in, your pet’s name, or even where and when you are going on vacation. Cyber thieves can use this information to guess passwords.
Ignore Any Email from People You Don’t Know – If you get emails from people you don’t know that have a link or attachment, never, ever click or open them.
Put a Password on Your Phone – This way, if your phone is lost or stolen, you don’t have to worry.
Shred Important Documents – Anything that comes in that has personal information, that would go in the rubbish, should be shredded. This includes credit cards bills and medical records.
Never Give Your Social Security Number Out – Unless you absolutely have to, you should not give up your Social Security number. Just because someone asks for it, that doesn’t mean they actually need it, or you should hand it over. That said, I give up my social all the time. But only on documents or applications that absolutely require it.
Check Out Your Credit Report Each Year – Every year, or every quarter, you can get access to your credit report for free. Check it out when you can to make sure it’s accurate.
Inspect Your Statements – Look for anomalies or unauthorized transactions. This includes any banking and credit card statements, and you should do this each month.
Get a Locking Mailbox – A locking mailbox is available at most big box hardware stores or online. Or pay for a PO Box.
Stop Your Mail When You Travel – You should also stop your mail delivery when you take a long trip.
Freeze Your Credit – Consider freezing your credit. This will stop an ID thief from opening new accounts in your name.
Make an Investment Into ID Theft Protection – You can’t totally stop ID theft, but you can make it more difficult by signing up for professional ID theft protection.
ROBERT SICILIANO CSP, is a #1 Best Selling Amazon author, CEO of CreditParent.com, the architect of the CSI Protection certification; a Cyber Social and Identity and Personal Protection security awareness training program