Everyone’s identity is at risk, doesn’t matter how much money you have what neighborhood you live in or any other factor, if you have a Social Security number and a date of birth you are a target! So what can we do? Here are the eight keys to guarding your identity (as best that we can)To help guard against the many identity thieves that work 24 hours a day, seven days a week to do nothing more than to steal your personal identifying information and use it for their own financial gain. This is what we generally have come to know as Identity Theft.
Here are the 8 keys to guarding your identity :
- Limit the opportunities by limiting your information release, don’t provide personal identifying information to request that you haven’t verified or determined require it.
- Monitor closely all statements from financial institutions and credit card services, look for any unusual expense that may not of been approved by you.
- Use complex passwords and login information on all online connected devices and accounts.
- Keep updated firewalls and security software on all devices.
- When using credit or debit cards in automated payment processors and ATMs check for tampering and possible credit card skimming devices prior to use.
- Avoid giving your credit or debit card to strangers such as a waiter or waitress at a restaurant, please consider using cash or processing the card in your presence.
- Obtain your credit report through the federal trade commission site at annualcreditreport.com
- Be sure to place a freeze on your credit through the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and Trans Union as this will stop thieves from utilizing your information without your unique password.
If you believe your identity has been compromised, local contact local police for a report as well as go to ftc.gov and utilize The identity theft tool kit for a step-by-step instructions.
This article has been written to provide basic information to warn the public about common fraud, scams and safety concerns by the Pennsylvania Crime Prevention Officers’ Association (PCPOA) a non-profit 501c(3) In cooperation with Michael Meitzler Award from Crime Alert Berks County. For more information please visit our website at www.PaCrimePrevention.org