Ways to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft – Experian Global News Blog

Ways to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

Join our hebdomadally # CreditChat on Periscope, YouTube Live, Twitter, and Snapchat every Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET. This workweek, we talked about ways to protect ourselves from identity larceny .
Our have Twitter Guest : Stop Fraud Colorado
The video jury included : Jan Zavislan, Senior Counsel of Consumer Protection at the Colorado Office of the Attorney General ; Shannon McNay : film director of Content at MyBankTracker ; Rod Griffin:  Director of Public Education at Experian ; Mike Delgado:  Director of Social Media at Experian.

We also featured financial tips all week on Snapchat — including 5 Smart Ways to Avoid Identity Theft:

Some stats about identity larceny :

  • FTC reported a 47% increase in ID theft last year – USA Today
  • $15 billion was stolen from 13.1 million U.S. consumers in ID theft schemes last year – iii.org
  • Over 490K identity theft complaints were reported to FTC  last year – USA Today
  • In the past 6 years, identity thieves have stolen $112 billion – iii.org
  • Debt collection, identity theft & imposter scams are among top complaints to FTC – FTC
  • Top states for cybercrime: CA (12%), Florida (7.5%), Texas (6.8%), New York (5.8%) – iii.org
  • Gov benefits fraud is a top way ID theft victim’s info is misused – iii.org

9 Ways to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft & Fraud

1. Don’t access financial information or shop online using public wifi (or unsecured network)

When logged-in to public wireless local area network, hackers have the ability gather your data. It ’ s about like they are looking over your shoulder. This is why it ’ sulfur significant for you to avoid using fiscal apps or making any payment transactions when on public wireless local area network or any unguaranteed network .
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2. Don’t give out your social security number or any financial information to people calling, emailing, or texting you.

unfortunately, there are a distribute of thieves trying to gather your fiscal information from you pretending to be a charity, debt collector, bank, government representation, or even syndicate member. There are even some people pretending to be a business trying to award you a fiscal respect in reelect for some of your personal information .
As a convention of thumb, never provide your fiscal information to anyone who contacts you. You can research the companies online to get the real telephone number — or find out if it ’ s a victimize by typing in the occupation name along with words like : complaints, reviews, scams, etc .
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3. Get your credit report regularly to ensure all the data is accurate and that nobody has opened up accounts under your name.

Make indisputable to check each of your citation reports at least annual. You can get your Experian, Transunion, and Equifax credit reports for free at AnnualCreditReport.com .
If possible, pull one report every four months so that you ’ rhenium looking at your reports throughout the year. If you notice a problem, make surely to dispute it with the lender and the agency. At Experian, you can dispute credit reports on-line .
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4. Shred any mail or documents that have personal information (e.g. financial info, health docs) instead of just tossing in trash.

One of the simplest ways to prevent identity larceny is using a shredder. Cut up old credit cards and any software documentation that has personal information about you or family members that could be used by identity thieves .
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5. Don’t carry your social security card in your wallet (and have a list of every card in your wallet in case it gets stolen).

It ’ sulfur easy to lose a wallet, which is why it ’ mho all-important that you have a accomplished list of every circuit board in your wallet. The list should have call numbers so that you can easily call each company to let them know your cards are missing. It ’ south besides crucial that you always keep your social security calling card in a dependable place ( and not in your wallet ).

besides make sure that you only carry cards with you that you actually need daily. Do you truly need two credit cards in your wallet ? Minimizing the number of fiscal cards in your wallet will alleviate your stress if your wallet is always stolen or missing .
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6. Don’t click on that link in your email to avoid malware, computer viruses, or hackers gathering your data.

It ’ second actually difficult to avoid clicking on links in electronic mail — particularly ones from friends or emails that appear to come from your bank asking you to reset your password for security purposes. To protect yourself, it ’ south always best to do searches yourself on Google to find the lapp site — rather of clicking on a hyperlink that might misdirect you somewhere else .
even if you roll over the link with your shiner — and the finish URL looks legitimate — it ’ second safe to search for the content yourself. It takes extra time, but safer .
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7. Use trusted sites when shopping online

Use reputable websites when shopping on-line to protect your citation calling card when making a transaction. You want to make certain your requital is protected and not intercepted by thieves. Some reputable payment services like PayPal, Google Checkout, or Apple Pay .
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8. Create strong passwords (and change regularly).

It ’ south easy to get into the habit of using the same passwords on every web site, but this scheme can get you into trouble if one of those sites gets gap — or you incidentally use that password on an unguaranteed network. It ’ randomness always best to use alone passwords — and passwords that are potent ( using numbers, symbols, capital and lowercase letters ) .
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9. Be careful about what personal information you share online (e.g. social networks).

It ’ s easy to over-share on sociable networks — so be very careful about posting personal data that could be used by identity thieves. Posting a newfangled drivers license, credit rating card, or your baby ’ s social security circuit board can merely lead to perturb. And turning on geolocation tags on your social posts can lead identity thieves to discover where you live .
If you think you are victim of identity larceny, IdentityTheft.gov can guide you through the action steps to take right away. The FTC provides this helpful pdf on “ What to Do Right Away ” if you are a victim .
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Questions We Discussed:

  • Q1: How does identity theft happen? Any common ways?
  • Q2: What are some ways thieves try to get your financial info by phone calls?
  • Q3: What types of online scams are used to get your data?
  • Q4: How can we protect ourselves from ID theft when using public wifi?
  • Q5: What tips do you have for creating strong passwords for websites?
  • Q6: How does medical identity theft happen? How do we know if we’re victims?
  • Q7: What are ways we can protect our children from identity theft?
  • Q8: What should you do if you think you’re a victim of identity theft?
  • Q9: What’s the difference between a credit freeze and fraud alert? What’s better?
  • Q10: Any final tips to help protect us from identity theft?

View the Entire Discussion via Storify:

[ View the floor “ Ways to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft ” on Storify ]
Join our # CreditChat every Wednesday at 3p.m. ET on Twitter and Google Hangouts.

If you ’ ve never heard about # CreditChat, here is a brief overview :

Resources:

How to Do What Identity Theft Protection Companies Do…For FREE via Wisebread

Recent Chats on YouTube & Twitter

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Category : Finance

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