(FinancialHealth.net) – Worldwide, 40% of consumers have dealt with the consequences of identity theft one or more times. Private information is accessed maliciously every day, leaving victims responsible for recovering the stolen money and repairing the damage done to their finances by the attack.
Identity thieves are cunning, but their efforts can be stopped by individuals who take extra precautions to keep their information safe. These simple steps will help you protect your privacy.
1. Use Two-Step Authentication
When logging into email and financial accounts, two-step authentication requires users to go the extra mile to prove they are who they say they are. This often means providing a password and then verifying their identity with a passcode sent via text message, email or given in a phone call.
2. Opt-Out of Pre-Approved Credit Cards
All of that junk mail could be responsible for increased vulnerability to scammers, providing them with an opportunity to get their hands on cards in your name. To stop receiving pre-approved offers in the mail, turn to OptOutPrescreen, which accepts opt-outs online or over the phone.
3. Protect Every Device
Personal electronic devices store a wealth of private information and gaining access to those devices could give thieves what they need to compromise an individual’s identity and finances. To avoid this breach of privacy, protect every device with a unique pin.
4. Monitor Email Accounts
Gaining access to email accounts is one way scammers get their hands on personal information. Sometimes the damage is done long before the evidence is obvious, but habitual monitoring of email accounts can lower that risk. Services like Have I Been Pwned help users to determine if their accounts have been compromised.
5. Change Passwords Regularly
Having easy-to-remember passwords certainly makes life a little easier, but this habit also makes theft of personal information easier too. Use unique passwords and change them anytime a hint of a compromise arises. To keep track of all these passwords, use a secure service like LastPass to store information.
6. Give False Answers to Security Questions
Security questions like, “What is your mother’s middle name?” or “What is the name of your first pet?” aren’t that hard to crack, especially in the world of social media sharing. Consider providing a false answer to these security questions and then storing those answer securely in LastPass to increase the security of accounts.
Many cases of identity theft are preventable. New habits can increase the security of personal information and keep you safe from a breach.
~Here’s to Your Financial Health!
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