If you have not already invested in prevention of identity theft, you really need to start right now. You are at risk – regardless of your financial and social status and even age. Identity theft can cause:
- Financial damage to you.
- Personal embarrassment.
- Social discomfiture.
- Dilution on credit score and so on.
Here are 6 ways in which you can avoid identity theft.
The right software
Your personal computer and mobile device should have the latest software and operating system. Invest time and money in updating it. Regular patches and updates can keep your information safer.
Check your credit report and accounts
In the USA, you can get free credit reports every year from the three leading credit agencies. Regardless of where you are, it is a good idea to get such credit reports so you know your score. You should also:
- Monitor your bank account statements.
- Check out all your debit and credit card statements.
- Scrutinize the bills that you are paying.
- Look at the security measures taken by the shopping websites or retail establishments that accept your credit and debit cards.
Invest in professional care
There are many providers of identity theft protection. Their plans can help in protecting you and your family. Take the time to read LifeLock review by No Identity Theft so you can enjoy protection for your health records, taxes, loans, investment and retirement accounts and so on. With service guarantees and best in industry protection measures, there is no beating a professional’s ability to take care of your identity.
Beware of sharing any personal and financial information on websites and social media. If you receive unsolicited calls, then stop them by signing up for ‘do not disturb’ services from your cellular provider. Email surveys asking for your information is a huge red flag.
Create passwords that have nothing to do with your personal information. Use capitals, symbols and random letters to create your passwords. Further:
- Do not use the same password for all your sites.
- Change your passwords frequently.
- Do not share your password or PIN with anybody.
There are a few tools and apps out there that will help you create passwords but truly, it is a question of coming up with something that can never be connected to you. For instance, why not create a password that brings together the brand name of the first bike you owned with the house number of your neighbor?
Websites have security questions, one time passwords or even secret passwords and tw0-step verification. Opt for all these measures. You may compromise just a smidgen of speed to enter all the relevant information but the end result is robust protection for your identity. Using your debit card or credit card should therefore be possible only after you enter the right user and login credentials and then use the one time password that is sent to your mobile number or after answering a secret question known only to you. Here again, be creative with your passwords and answers.