Identity theft can be a scary thing. The idea that someone would want to take your identity and use it for their nefarious purposes is frightening. However, you can perform some simple and effective hacks to prevent this from happening. This article will go over the top eight tips on keeping your identity safe from thieves who may want to target you!
1. Get Professional Help
If you’re an entrepreneur and want to make sure that you’re legally protected, it’s a good idea to get the help of an identity theft protection provider. These professionals can help protect your identity from cybercriminals and keep them safe. A review of the best providers around can help narrow down your search. The idea is to find one with a good reputation and one that offers comprehensive protection.
2. Install Antivirus Software on your Computer
Antivirus software is a must for your computer. Remember, hackers keep looking for ways to gain access to your system, so make sure you have a good antivirus program installed that can protect your computer from these threats. Also, you should update your antivirus software for the latest security updates.
3. Use a Password Manager
Your passwords are the gateway to your identity, so it is crucial to ensure they are solid and unique. A password manager will help you do this by generating and storing passwords for you. This will ensure that your passwords are both safe and unique.
If you want to generate a password by yourself, you can use these hacks:
- Use a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols
- Make your passwords longer than eight characters
- Avoid using easily guessed words or phrases
- Change your passwords often
If you are using a similar password for multiple accounts, it is only a matter of time before someone manages to hack into one of them. A password manager can help you avoid this by generating and storing unique passwords for your accounts.
4. Be Careful about what you Share on Social Media
Social media provides a way to connect with other people, but it also provides a gateway for hackers and cybercriminals into our personal information. To keep your ID safe from identity theft:
- Be careful about what you share on social media sites like Facebook or Instagram.
- Do not post photos of yourself holding credit cards or bills over your face.
- Do not reveal too much about where you live, including the city or state you reside in.
- Avoid sharing posts regarding travel plans unless they are made through private messaging.
5. Keep an Eye Out for Phishing
Phishing is a trick used by ruthless hackers to try and steal your personal information. They do this by sending you an email or message that looks like it’s from a legitimate source, such as your bank or credit card company. The email will ask you to provide personal information, such as your username and password, or click a link directing you to a fake website where you’re asked to enter more personal details.
To avoid falling for phishing scams, always be vigilant when opening emails, especially if they come from unfamiliar sources. Don’t ever share your personal information in response to an email or message, even if it seems official. And never open links in unsolicited emails – instead, type the site’s web address manually into your browser.
Contact your bank or credit card company immediately if you suspect you may have fallen prey to a phishing scam.
6. Monitor your Credit Report
Regardless of how many transactions you have made, you are entitled to one free credit summary from each of the three significant bureaus once per year.
Ensure that none of these reports show any unauthorized activity or accounts opened in your name. You can look at account balances and view transaction history on all loan accounts, including mortgages, car loans, student loans, etc. If you see something wrong with an account, make sure to contact the company immediately, as well as contact law enforcement if it is a fraudulent charge. It’s also important to see the best credit monitoring services at SFGate.com because this will help prevent damage done before the situation worsens.
If you believe there may be suspicious activity regarding financials occurring, please monitor transactions closely over time by signing up for text alerts when charges post or withdrawals occur so that they can be investigated further if necessary.
7. Don’t Carry Your Social Security Card Around
Your security card is a prime target for identity thieves and criminals. This is because it holds all the information they need to open fraudulent accounts on your behalf and apply for credit cards, and even file taxes under your name. So, where should you keep this valuable piece of plastic?
Do not carry it with you unless necessary (for example, applying for an apartment or car loan). If you do leave home without taking another form of ID such as a driver’s license, make sure that you take extra precautions by keeping the card in someplace safe like at home or locked up somewhere else out of plain sight so no one can see what number is listed on the front side of it.
If someone does steal your SSN card and tries to use it, you will be the one held liable for any debts or crimes committed in your name. So make sure that you keep it in a safe place and destroy it when it’s no longer needed.
8. Turn off Bluetooth when not in Use
Many hacking incidents have happened because people left their Bluetooth on when they weren’t using it. Turning off your Bluetooth when you’re not using it is one of the simplest ways to keep yourself safe from hackers. You can also set your Bluetooth to turn off automatically when it hasn’t been used for a certain amount of time. This is the surest way to ensure you’re not getting hacked while you sleep or do other things when your phone isn’t in use.
Today, identity theft is a genuine threat. However, there are many crucial things you can do to protect yourself from becoming a victim. Follow these helpful tips shared above, and you can rest assured that your identity is safe!
Source: Upscale Living Magazine