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7 Proven Ways To Prevent Identity Theft
Identity theft is when someone uses your data to impersonate you, commonly used for their financial gain. In this article you will learn the 7 proven ways to prevent identity theft.
Once they break into your email account they will send phishing spam emails to everyone on your contact list. They will steal your bank credentials and drain your account balance. Your Social Security number and your credit card, cell phone, and other accounts in your name might be swiped by them. All these crimes are considered Identity theft. It is a growing phenomenon.
There were 4.8 million identity theft and fraud reports received by the FTC in 2020, up 45 percent in 2019, mostly due to the 113 percent increase in identity theft complaints. 1.4 million complaints were for identity theft in 2020.
As the current trends are continuing, ID theft protection is only going to become essential.
Scammers take advantage of whatever opportunity they can, including the COVID-19 crisis. Your information may be exposed due to these frequent data breaches.
At this time, it’s smart to take steps to prevent these malicious actors from stealing your personal information and ruining your financial life.
Here are my recommendations of what you need to know to reduce the chances you’ll be a target. This will help you to spot warning signs and take quick action to minimize damage. There are 7 things you can do to make it much harder for identity thieves.
7 ways to prevent identity theft.
1. Safeguard your Social Security number
Your Social Security number is the master key to your data. Protect it as best as much as you can. Dont provide your number unless you know the genuine reason. Shred paperwork containing your Social Security number and securely store.
2. Be alert to phishing and spoofing
Scammers can make phone calls appear to come from banks, government entities, or businesses, and emails that appear to be legitimate may be attempts to steal your information. Rather than responding to an email or call, initiate a return email or callback yourself, working from a known entity such as the official website. And be wary of attachments, which may contain malware.
3. Use strong passwords and add an authentication step
Don’t ever reuse passwords. Don’t rely on security questions to keep your accounts safe; your car brand and your mother’s name. aren’t hard to find. Use a password manager to create and store unique passwords for your accounts. Read my article about creating a storng password.
1Password & Roboform are some of the better password managers out there thanks to its excellent security. Read my article on How to secure your password?
4. Use a digital wallet
Use a digital wallet whenever paying online or in a store. Digital wallet app containing secure, digital versions of credit and debit cards. In Digital Wallet, Transactions are tokenized and encrypted, which makes them safer.
5. Protect your mobile devices
Mobile devices can be a real risk. Javelin’s report says that only 48% of us routinely lock our mobile devices. Use passwords on your electronic devices. Using a banking app is safer than a mobile browser for banking.
6. Avoid using public Wi-Fi
Hackers may be able to track your activities when you use free public Wi-Fi.
- Don’t use public Wi-Fi for, banking, shopping, or other sensitive transactions.
- use a virtual private network service to create a secure connection, If when using public Wi-Fi,
7. Check your credit reports and Monitor financial statements Regularly
Be sure that any accounts are being reported properly, and to watch for signs of fraud. Sign up for a free credit report and score from NerdWallet to receive alerts when there are changes in your credit score.
Read financial statements. Make sure you recognize every transaction.
Sign up for the text or email notifications, so that you know when and where your credit cards are used when there are withdrawals or deposits to financial accounts and more.
8 Use Identity Threat Protection Services
Use identity theft protection services for helping you manage and protect your identity. The US government offers an identity restoration service identitytheft.gov, that can help an identity theft victim report and recover from identity theft
IdentityForce monitors much more beyond credit information. It checks for public information on record changes, address changes, court and arrests records, loan applications. Also, It checks for identity information on a variety of illegal identity-sharing websites to act as a guard from identity thieves.
How to report identity theft
Report identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission at identitytheft.gov and follow its recommended steps to make a recovery plan. Also, you need to contact your police department, the Postal Service, and the credit bureaus.
If you have any identity theft protection, you may be entitled to identity restoration services.
These 7 Proven Ways To Prevent Identity Theft will make you protective and feel safe.