Last month, I posted information on what to look for in Identity Theft Protection. Purchasing a subscription is an excellent step to prevent the consequences of becoming an identity fraud victim.
Subscribing to service that can handle the hard work of restoring your identity is a great first step. Important next steps are preventive in nature.
Follow these precautions to reduce the chances that your private information will be breached by thieves and fraudsters.
- Don't throw papers containing personal information, such as account numbers, birthdate or financials into recycling or the trash. Put them into a locked box for professional shredding or shred them yourself. It's fun!
- Be selective about the news and information you post on social media. Thieves creep through posts looking for clues to as to when you will be away and even what names you may use in passwords. They also use posted information to pose as someone you know in order to trick you or one of your friends or family members.
- If you won't be applying for any loans, new credit accounts or bank accounts in the near future, free your credit at the three major credit bureaus. You will be able to unfreeze your credit online when you need to.
- Review entries in your banking and credit card accounts weekly for unusual transactions.
- Use a password manager like LastPass or Dashlane to create, save and use strong passwords.
- Once you get used to using a password manager, methodically replace your weaker passwords with strong ones.
- Watch out for phishing emails. They can sound urgent and appear very official with logos and language stolen from real company emails.
Keep your eyes and mind open. Be sensitive things that seem just a bit off. It is not a lot of bother to verify the source of a phone call, email or webpage link. Resist the temptation to tell yourself you're being paranoid. They are out to get you!