We are living in an almost fully digital world and it’s becoming more of a challenge to protect yourself online. In order to protect your personal data against the growing identity thieves, it’s important to take steps to minimize your odds of being victimized. The overall goal with these steps is to build as many effective obstacles and tripwires are possible with your personal data. This type of strategy is bound to frustrate and discourage identity thieves that are attempting to access your information. This will lead them to either give up entirely or look for another target whose data is easier to obtain.
Steps to Protect Yourself
- Set-Up Passwords
- Passwords are needed to protect your data. Not having a password on your computer or smartphone – and on all financial accounts, too – is akin to leaving your home with the door wide open.
- Mix Up Your Passwords
- Mix up your passwords in order to keep intruders from getting into additional accounts of yours that use the same passwords. Don’t include your name or your birthday in any passwords.
- Stay Away From Shady Websites and Links
- If you suspect a link isn’t legitimate, don’t click on it, and never type in your username or password on an unfamiliar login screen.
- Never Give Out Personal Information
- No legitimate organization (such as the IRS) will call and ask you for personal information—like a bank or credit card PIN number or Social Security number.
- Establish Fraud Alerts if Needed
- With fraud alerts, financial services, or data security companies normally text or place a phone call to consumers if there is a suspected security breach or if spending on a card or account doesn’t match up with your habits or recent location.
- Limit Your Exposure
- Limit the number of credit cards you carry in your wallet, so if it’s stolen you can minimize the impact.
It’s important to never take the security of your personal data for granted. Identity thieves are always out there and ready to strike whenever the opportunity presents itself. They will always aim for those who are labeled as unprepared and most vulnerable because this is where they see gold. Ultimately, it is up to the user to stop identity theft from occurring.
Want to add identity theft insurance to your coverages? Reach out to your local agent to find out more.