Ways to not be a victim of identity theft
Not sure if your identity is safe?
Monitor and check your bank statements regularly. Starting to notice transactions on your credit card or bank account that does not match up with your spending? Contact your bank right away to make sure your card and account are frozen. Also, make sure monthly when you receive your banking statements that you are shredding them or cutting them into pieces before throwing them away. No matter the amount, if you see unfamiliar transactions on your account make sure to report it to your bank.
Keep track of who has access to your personal information. It is important to be aware of who may have access to your personal information. This isn't just people, but also businesses who collect your information such as the grocery store, retails stores, employers, doctors or dentist offices, and more. Just because a company stores your information does not mean it is not accessible to other people somewhere else. This is why privacy policies are so important and you should always read up on them before signing up with a business or company that asks for your information.
Make sure the websites you share your information on are secure. Anytime you sign up for an account online where it asks for your personal information, make sure the website is secure. How do I do this? First, check the URL and make sure it has the “Http” at the beginning of it. Why? “Http” stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, which means your information is encrypted and no one else can access it besides the person you're sending it to. Another way to make sure your browser is secure and safe is to look at the color of the address bar. If the URL is highlighted in green, you are in a safe and secure web browser.
DO NOT trust people asking for personal information via email or telephone. Have you ever received an email where a friend is asking for money? Did you ever contact that friend and find out it wasn’t them who sent the email? These kinds of scams are occurring more and more. Some of those emails even come with links that tell you to click on them to fix whatever issue you are having. NEVER click on these links, they are known as phishing scams. This goes for phone calls as well. If someone ever calls you asking for your bank account information or other personal information immediately hang up. If you are concerned it may have been your bank, directly call your bank and ask.
Protect ALL of your devices. Since our personal devices help us keep track of most of our personal information, it is important you keep your devices protected as well. You can download certain software and malware protections to avoid your devices from receiving viruses and other threats. Make sure if you are storing information on your devices, you are using the best possible protection you can.