How to Protect Your Personal Information From Identity and Cyber Theft
It seems like every day we hear about accounts getting hacked or credit card numbers being compromised. Not cool. Cybercrimes are so common that over 14 million people in the past year have fallen victim to identify theft, fraud, and stolen information. However, all hope is not lost, there are some easy ways to protect your personal information. Check out our list below to get some tips. How many of these are you doing?
REGULARLY CHECK YOUR CREDIT REPORT
Download a free credit report app and keep it on the home screen of your phone as a reminder. Getting into the habit of checking your credit report frequently will help you keep track of all activity on your credit cards or if any suspicious activity has been reported.
AVOID SHARING YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
Do you know those emails that tell you that you won $1000 and are full of misspellings? Sure, we’re smart enough to know those are scams, but an email from your bank asking for personal information can seem legitimate. Sometimes we get tricked into giving our information because the scammers have gotten so good at tricking us. It’s so important to be skeptical and pay attention to the small details, like weird links and unknown senders.
MONITOR YOUR BANK AND CREDIT CARD STATEMENTS
We know this seems easy, but you would be surprised by the number of people who don’t do this regularly. Checking your statements will help to catch fraudulent charges or if someone else has stolen your account information.
CREATE DIFFICULT PASSWORDS
Many hacking programs have the ability to guess passwords by combining random words and phrases together, as well as any information relevant to you. So, choosing something random with a combination of letters and symbols is ideal.
Do you hate having to remember a million passwords? Same. Install a password manager app, we promise it’s easy and it will make your life so much easier.
INSTALL FIREWALLS ON YOUR COMPUTER
When using your computer, firewalls can come in handy to protect you from viruses. Also, when using public Wi-Fi, your information is vulnerable to scammers and a firewall can help prevent your computer from being infected.
CHECK YOUR MAIL FREQUENTLY
You might think checking the mail is a thing of the past but think about it, keeping physical mail in your mailbox is risky. Opt-in for paperless billing where possible and if going out of town long periods of time, request a hold to be placed on your mail.
SHRED CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS
Do not throw away documents that contain confidential information on them, shred them. Some documents such as unwanted mail or credit card offers can contain your personal information, so it is always best to shred it and forget it.
BEWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS
When going to the ATM or using a public computer, scammers could be watching. Always use caution when accessing your personal information in public and cover up your PIN.
LEAVE IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS AT HOME
Do not carry around your social security card. If you are not using any credit cards, remove them from your wallet.
GET CYBER INSURANCE
Let’s file this under things our great grandparents never had to worry about, cyber insurance. But, it’s certainly something we should all be thinking about. Although cyber insurance won’t help you protect your personal information, it will help you recover financially if your personal data is compromised by a cyber-criminal.
Contact one of our Insurance Guides today to receive more information about cyber insurance and cyber risk management tips.