Attackers can use your information to make large purchases on your credit card or take out loans under your name. Both of which can negatively impact your credit and take years to recover from. This is why it is more important than ever to be careful of your personal information.
Here are some warning signs that someone may be using your identity:
- You find unfamiliar charges on bank statements
- You notice errors on your credit report
- You receive bills from services you didn’t open
- You are denied an application
- Debt collectors are calling you
If you notice any of these warning signs, you need to take immediate steps to recover your identity. Start by contacting your bank or financial institution to dispute any charges. Banks take these issues very seriously and will work with you to reverse any fraudulent activities.
Use Identity Theft Protection
The next step is to consider identity theft protection. These services offer comprehensive credit monitoring so you can stay on top of your credit score. You also get timely alerts for certain types of activity and personal information monitoring.
Even with these services, you should still be careful about your information. Be especially wary of any emails or phone calls that ask for information such as your credit card or social security number.
Keep Your Computer Secure
Your computer contains a lot of personal information.
Identity thieves increasingly use sophisticated software to access sensitive information right on your computer. Adequate protection from theft is absolutely necessary. For this reason it is paramount that you install anti-virus to keep your device protected.
Consider investing in identity theft protection services as these offer security software such as anti-virus and keystroke encryption. These help to keep your personal information from getting in the wrong hands. Taking these measures as explained above will help protect your identity.
In the event that your identity gets stolen, take steps immediately to resolve any issues. This includes filling a report with your financial institution and even freezing your credit. Doing so will prevent any lender or company from extending credit under your name.