Identity theft is one of the most despicable crimes out there. Here are seven ways to help protect yourself:
>> Secure Your Hard Copies
Every sensitive document should be kept in a safe. Credit cards and debit cards should be securely placed in your wallet at all times.
Bonus Tip: Shred all aged documents that contain sensitive information
>> Examine Your Financial Statements
Review your financial statements monthly and check carefully for fraudulent activity. Report any suspicious charges immediately.
Bonus Tip: Sign up for alerts and limit your credit card activity to a specific geographical area.
>> Choose Strong Passwords
Use different, strong passwords for each of your accounts and devices.
Bonus Tip: Use a secure password service, like Gizmodo, to create and store unique passwords.
>> Protect Your Computer
Invest in a strong anti-spyware program to protect your hardware from hackers.
Bonus Tip: Encrypt your hard drive for an extra level of protection.
>> Be Wary of Suspicious Emails and Websites
Don’t open suspicious-looking emails or click on links for unfamiliar sites.
Bonus Tip: If your inbox is flooded with promotional emails, unsubscribe from some of them. This will help you spot the truly bad apples in all that mail.
>> Use Two-Factor Identification
The extra log-in step will help ward off scammers and add another layer of security to your accounts.
Bonus Tip: Never elect to have a device “remember your password” for a site that involves payments of any kind.
>> Avoid Public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi is a great hunting ground for thieves; steer clear if you can. At the very least, avoid all online banking or password logins while using public Wi-Fi.