What Is Identity Theft Protection
The idea of identity theft is scary, but we usually don’t think about it. It’s something that probably won’t happen to me, right? Well, 6.5 percent of American consumers were affected by identity theft in 2016. That means it’s not likely, but still very possible. It’s a good idea to understand what is identity theft protection and to have an idea of the steps you can take toward fraud prevention.
Here’s a crash course.
Update Your Passwords
Some passwords are easy for hackers to guess. So easy, in fact, that they’ve made a list of the most common passwords.
Have you chosen one of these most common passwords? Probably not. But that doesn’t mean you’re not vulnerable.
Hackers are getting better at stealing your passwords. It’s important for you to change your passwords every month or so, even if just by a character or so.
That’s right–it’s worth changing “Fun123” to “Fun1234.”
But what if you do update your password regularly, and it’s complicated? Is that enough?
Maybe. But one more step is to switch up your passwords on different websites.
If you have the same website across every account you use, it only takes one hacking for a thief to gain access to all of your info.
And then your fraud prevention effort will have been for nothing.
Monitor Financial Statements
Once you’ve mastered the switch of the password, it’s time to monitor what those passwords are guarding.
If you’re unlucky enough to experience fraud, the perps will use your information to make purchases with your money.
That would be unfortunate. However, that also means it’s easy to see if someone is stealing money from you.
Make a habit out of scrolling or flipping through documents which show your recent financial activity. That means documents like bank statements and credit reports.
If you do find purchases you didn’t make, don’t panic–contact your bank. They’ll more than likely reimburse you for the fraudulent purchases.
You’ll be better prepared to avoid the next time around.
Clean up the Trail
In order to avoid fraud, you need to pick up the pieces that a thief might put together.
That means containing the information that a thief might be looking for.
A wide range of actions can make your fraud prevention final. One important routine you should have is to shred documents related to your financial information.
You never know who’s lurking in your recycling bin just to find one piece of mail that might help them.
In addition, make sure you don’t give out your personal information to sites you don’t know well.
If you’ve heard about phishing, you know this. There are scammers out there pretending to be legitimate people only to ask you for your financial information.
This eventually allows them to take your identity.
But not if you’re prepared.
Watch this quick informational video for more tips on how to protect your identity.
Fraud Prevention is Within Reach
Now that you have a better understanding of what is identity theft protection, you’ll be able to hold off any simple attempts to steal your identity.
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