Top 10 Tips to help prevent Identity theft

Written by Matthew Harris on 13th September 2017
Cyber Security

 

Tips on how to prevent Identity theft

 

You already know that a whopping 143 million Equifax records were compromised. The difference with this one is that a big-three credit bureau like Equifax tracks so much personal and sometimes confidential information like social security numbers, full names, addresses, birth dates, and even drivers licenses and credit card numbers for some.

At this point you have to assume that the bad guys have highly personal information that they can use to trick you. You need to watch out for the following things:

  • Phishing emails that claim to be from Equifax where you can check if your data was compromised 
  • Phishing emails that claim there is a problem with a credit card, your credit record, or other personal financial information 
  • Calls from scammers that claim they are from your bank or building society 
  • Fraudulent charges on any credit card because your identity was stolen

 

Below are top 10 tips on preventing Identity theft:

1. Shred your documents. 
Don’t toss bank statements and credit card receipts in the trash. Dispose of them using a cross-cut shredder or shredding service.

 

2. Strengthen your passwords. 
Use random combinations of letters, numbers and special characters. Create different passwords for each account and change them frequently.

 

3. Check your credit reports. 
You’re entitled to one free credit report every year from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus. Request one report every four months and review it for suspicious or incorrect information.

 

4. Guard your National Insurance number. 
Avoid sharing it when it’s not absolutely necessary, and don’t keep it in your wallet.

 

5. Be smart about social media. 
Consider leaving personal details, such as your birthday or address, off your profiles. Strengthen your privacy settings and be cautious about whom you accept as a connection.

 

6. Secure your phone. 
Lock your device with a password, turn off Bluetooth when you’re not using it, and be cautious when downloading apps — especially free versions of popular apps, which may contain malware.

 

7. Know the signs of phishing. 
Watch out for emails, links or unsolicited phone calls, asking for your personal information.

 

8. Monitor your financial statements. 
Report any suspicious activity in your bank and credit card accounts as soon as you notice it.

 

9, Phishing email & Scam calls: 
Beware Phishing emails followed up with a scam phone call that adds credibility to the email.

 

10. Think before you Click: 
Will help you prevent ransomware attacks or inadvertently downloading malicious code ie key stroke loggers 

 


Let's stay safe out there!


Warm Regards
Matthew

 

 

 

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