Identity theft continues to be a rampant problem.
Reports from Javelin Research estimate that losses as a result of fraud amount to tens of billions of dollars every year. That figure is only expected to increase as attackers use more sophisticated means to access sensitive data. The reality is that anyone can be a victim of identity theft.
Here are ID protect strategies to keep your personal information safe.
Handle Sensitive Documents Carefully
Even as more companies rely on digital communication, physical documents still pose a risk.
One way identity thieves retrieve personal information is by digging through the trash and even stealing from a mailbox. Minimize your risk by storing sensitive documents in a safe and shredding those you plan to throw away especially any that have bank account numbers or other identifying information. You may also consider buying a third party mail box to have mail sent to.
Install Anti-Virus Software
Identify thieves are increasingly using viruses and malware to steal financial information. Such programs can unknowingly hijack your personal computer and record keystrokes when you log into a banking account. To protect ID, make sure to install anti-virus software and be wary of any emails that ask for any personal information.
Avoid Unsecured Networks
It may be convenient to access your online banking account to check your balance while at a cafe. But identity thieves are adept at intercepting unsecured Wi-Fi connections. Others on the same network could gain access to your information.
The solution is to avoid logging into your banking and even social media accounts on a public network. Otherwise you make it easy for anyone with the right tools to access your data. Be sure to also put a strong password on your home Wi-Fi network.
Monitor Credit Report
Be on the lookout for any suspicious activity by checking your credit report on a regular basis. You can request a free copy from the major credit bureaus. There are also services available that alert you immediately of any fraudulent activity.
Taking these steps as explained above will help protect your identity from being stolen.