In today’s world, identity theft is rampant. Thieves are better than ever at stealing your social security number, bank account information, credit card numbers, and more. Banks and financial institutions are still slow to catch onto the latest ID theft trends, and a thief can ruin your credit score in a matter of hours. What can you do to help keep yourself protected against identity theft?
Don’t Give Out Your SS Number
One thing that you can do is to be wary of anyone who asks for your social security number. This is especially true if you receive a phone call that seems suspicious. Many times, people will call and say that you have won a prize or that your account has been hacked and will ask for your number, without telling you any details. Never give out your social security number unless you are absolutely positive you know who you are giving it to.
Use Common Sense Online
Make certain that you are very cautious when using the Internet, as well. Always use a firewall and antivirus programs, and be wary of clicking unfamiliar links. Never offer credit card or social security information on any unsecured site. If you are uncertain, look for the https at the beginning of a web address to be sure it is secure. An unsecure site address bar will read ‘http’ without the ‘s’ on the end. The ‘s’ stands for ‘Secure.’ Always be certain that you have a password that is hard to figure out and that contains both letters and numbers.
Shred Junk Mail
Last, consider shredding all of your junk mail before throwing it into the trash. Many pieces of mail contain sensitive information that can be used to compromise your identity.
Following these simple steps can help keep you and your identity much safer, and reduce the risks of identity theft.