Identity theft is a serious problem that more and more people are dealing with. When it comes to protecting your name and finances, it’s best to take a proactive approach and avoid these five mistakes that can lead to identity theft.
- Unsafe Computer Use
When using the Internet, you send and receive extremely sensitive data that, in the wrong hands, will leave you vulnerable to identity theft. To prevent issues, update your software and always use a secure Internet connection when accessing banking and credit card websites.
- Improper Disposal of Personal Information
By placing your trash and recycling out on the curb, you are putting your information out there for the world to access. To save yourself trouble, use a paper shredder or hire a service to dispose of your important financial documents.
- Weak Passwords
When you access your accounts online, you will want to use a password that someone can’t easily guess. Don’t use your birthday, street address, or other information available to the public. Instead, when signing up for an account, create a random password with random numbers, letters, and symbols. Hackers will struggle to gain access to your account if it is protected by a lengthy, complicated password.
- Carrying your Social Security Card
Carrying your social security card at all times is unwise. You never want to misplace your social security card, because thieves can open accounts in your name easily once they know this important information. Instead, put your card in a safe and secure place. Then, when you need it, put it in your wallet for the day.
- Ignoring Credit Reports
Criminals can easily apply for credit in your name once they know your information. To avoid this, monitor your credit report and sign up to receive alerts when credit is applied for in your name.