[custom_frame_left][/custom_frame_left]In today’s world of revolutionary technology, it has become easier for thieves and hackers to obtain sensitive information that can allow them access to your personal accounts. According to a January, 2012 Forbes article, one in twenty-five people will be the victim of identity theft, resulting in an average of $631 in out of pocket costs. To avoid becoming a victim of identity theft, we’ve compiled some practical suggestions that will help you protect your privacy.
Shop Where You’re Comfortable
There are thousands of online retail sites that offer inexpensive goods and services. Before you click “buy” make sure the site is reputable or that you can pay through a secure service such as Paypal. The same caution applies when shopping at a retail store. Shop and dine at stores and restaurants you frequent and always keep an eye on your debit and credit cards.
Use Caution With Your Things
As mentioned above, always keep an eye on your credit and debit cards. Some thieves use small devices placed directly next to the legitimate scanning machines and secretly scan your card when you’re not looking. If you use your phone for online banking or keep account and password information on it, make sure you lock it with a password, turn Bluetooth off when you’re not using it, and use caution when connecting to Wifi networks.
Protect Your Records
Bank and credit card statements, online banking passwords, birth certificates, and social security cards all contain vital information that would allow almost anyone access to your personal records. Be sure to shred any documents you don’t intend to keep. Change your passwords frequently and place any documents you need to keep in a safe, locked place.
Review Accounts and Credit Score
The best protection against identify theft is monitoring your accounts. Keeping a close eye on your bank and savings accounts, credit card statements, and credit cards will ensure that you are immediately aware of any changes or discrepancies.
Stop by any one of our branches or give us a call to find out about our Identity Theft Programs.