How You Can Protect Yourself
Be vigilant with your identity, but know that should something happen, you can get help. Here are some precautions you can take:
- Strong, unique passwords on all of your online accounts are a must, and avoid checking sensitive information like your online banking sites over unsecured or public Wi-Fi.
- Shred any sensitive documentation that comes to you before your dispose of it, since identity thieves do still operate the “old fashioned way,” by dumpster diving for your mail.
- Be careful of “oversharing” online, and make sure that the content you post to social media sites like Facebook isn’t providing the pieces of the puzzle that an identity thief needs.
- Safeguard your Social Security number and be aware of who you share it with. Remember that a lot of businesses might try use it for identification purposes, but they’re not entitled to do so. Never carry your Social Security card in your wallet, but rather keep it locked up in a safe place.
- Check your credit reports throughout the year. You’re entitled to one free copy of your report every year from each of the three reporting agencies, so order one agency’s report in January, another agency’s document in May, and the third one in September to get an ongoing look at your finances.
For more information about identity theft, visit the Identity Theft Resource Center.