As technology continues to advance, identity theft is becoming a bigger and bigger problem. Most would agree that the age of the Internet and technology has been both a blessing and a curse. This is mainly because criminals and hackers are finding new ways to steal personal information from innocent users.
Not only do you need to protect personal information from the virtual world, it’s also important to take extra steps in preventing your identity from being stolen in the real world. Identity theft is not just an intrusion of your bank account but it can affect your peace of mind as well as your security in giving out personal information. There are several ways to prevent identity theft from happening to you.
Use a Shredder: Investing in a shredder can be one of the most beneficial and easiest ways to ensure your information isn’t readily available in the trash. Believe it or not, trash with personal information is paradise for a criminal. Make sure to shred all old credit cards, old mail, and any bank statements. Even if it only lists the last four digits of your social security number, sometimes that’s all that is needed for the wrong person to access information over the phone.
Internet Aware: Whether you shop online frequently or it’s your first time, be sure to check the security of the website. The lock symbol along with an ‘https’ is a great way to ensure the “checkout” process is secure. When checking emails, never click on links or attachments from someone you don’t know. Furthermore, never give out personal information online unless it is someone you know and trust.
Passwords: As difficult as it seems, changing your password for various accounts is the best course of action. Even if it’s adding a special number or birthday to the end of your password, it can help keep your personal information safe. If your password is “sarahthedog”, add Sarah’s birthday to the end to make the password more difficult to guess: “sarahthedog1221”. Remembering multiple passwords may be difficult, but dealing with a stolen identity is even more difficult.
Avoid Email: Never provide information via email. If you receive an email requesting information, immediately call the bank or company to find out what they need. This could easily lead to personal identity theft. Volunteer to visit the institution in person instead. If they refuse, this might mean identity theft in the making.
Know Billing Schedules: It might seem obvious, but knowing your billing schedule is a great way to prevent identity theft from worsening, if that first line has already been crossed. If you’re not regularly receiving monthly bills or statements, immediately contact the bank or company to find out why. This might mean that a third party has changed your address and is now receiving your bank information. Remember, a company will never forget to mail you a bill, so if you notice that you have not received one, contact the biller right away.
If you have been or believe you might be the victim of identity theft, immediately put a hold on accounts and credit cards that may have been hacked. Report the instance to the bank or company, notify the authorities, and then contact the Law Team at Fetterman & Associates at 561-845-2510 so you can receive the help and representation that you deserve. We will ensure you receive everything you need to receive a settlement that will put you and your financial woes at bay.
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