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7 Ways To Protect Your Identity

Updated: January 11, 2024

Taking proactive measures to protect your identity is crucial. Identities are stolen every day and people don’t even know when it’s happened to them. According to the FTC, 2.4 million identity and fraud reports were made in 2022. Scammers know hundreds of ways to steal your identity so it’s important to know how to protect yourself, so you don’t lose yours.

1. Keep Your Personal Information Personal

 
Know when and who you’re sharing any kind of personal information with. Whether it’s bank account information, a social security number, or hobbies/interests, make sure you’re sharing with the appropriate people. For instance, be careful of the information you’re sharing on social media accounts. Things like your favorite pet’s name or a family member’s name can give scammers information they can use to hack your accounts.
  • Stop oversharing on social media.
  • Don’t answer calls/text messages from unknown numbers.
  • Don’t sign up for services with personal information unless absolutely necessary.
person on social media
scam caller

2. Stay Up-to-Date On Scams

 
Scams pop up everywhere from phones to social media, emails, and websites. Learn about what scams are popular and how to spot them. 

3. Use Secure Passwords

 
Passwords are the key to unlocking your personal information so it’s important you take the time to create a strong & unique one. We recommend use all four types of characters including: capital letters (ABC), lowercase letters (abc), numbers (123) and punctuation marks/special characters (!?#$).
 
  • Don’t use the same password for all accounts.
  • Use a password manager like LastPass to store your passwords.
  • Utilize multi-factor authentication.
secure password
credit score

4. Keep An Eye On Your Credit Score

 
Your credit report contains important information you can use to monitor all types of accounts and loans you’ve opened and any fraudulent activity that may occur. If someone has stolen your identity you may see a loan on your report that you definitely didn’t apply for. This can be an initial indicator that something isn’t right.
 

5. Keep Your Devices Secured

 
A lot of us LIVE on our devices, including phones, tablets, and laptops making them a prime target for hackers. This is why it’s important to keep your devices updated with the latest software whether it’s Microsoft or Apple.
  • Turn on automatic updates in your settings.
  • Check and see which of your mobile apps have access to information on your phone. You can find this in your settings.
  • Clear your browser history.
  • Only visit sites with an https address.
  • Don’t use unsecured WIFI networks.
person on tablet
ATM machine

6. Watch For Credit Card Skimming

 
Card skimming is another sneaky way scammers are stealing people’s money. A card skimmer is a device that steals card information by reading your debit or credit card’s magnetic strip. Check out our blog, What Is Card Skimming/Shimming And How To Avoid It to learn more.
  • Cover the keypad when you’re inputting your PIN.
  • If you’re at a gas station, pay inside.
  • Monitor your debit and credit card accounts regularly.

7. Protect Personal Documents

 
Fraudsters attack all fronts and scavenge for your information digitally and physically. If you have important physical documents, make sure to keep them locked up and out of sight. Fraudsters will even resort to taking mail from your mailbox so make sure you’re not leaving anything inside.
  • Shred personal documents.
  • Check your mailbox daily.
shredding paper

If you’re looking for additional ways to protect your identity, check out our 10 Tips To Protect Your Identity.

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