April 17, 2024

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How to Protect Yourself From Identity Theft and Fraud

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Identity theft is a criminal act in which someone uses your personal information to commit fraud. This could include credit card fraud, insurance fraud, tax fraud and even medical identity theft.

Fortunately, you can take steps to protect yourself against identity theft. While it may not completely stop theft, it will make it more challenging for criminals to steal your identity.

Keep Your Information Safe

Identity theft is a criminal act in which criminals use your personal information to commit fraud. They may use stolen data to open new accounts or apply for loans with fraudulent intentions.

Identity theft can be prevented by taking steps to ensure your information remains safe and secure. That means using strong passwords and restricting how much personal data you share online.

Another critical step is keeping your computer and mobile devices up to date with antivirus software. This can help detect and eliminate malicious software used by hackers to steal personal information.

Shredding documents containing sensitive information, such as tax returns, bank statements or receipts from ATM or credit card transactions is recommended.

You can prevent identity theft by freezing your credit with all three major credit bureaus. Once this is done, no one else is able to open a new account or loan using your financial data.

Shred Sensitive Documents

Shredding documents that contain sensitive information is an effective way to guard yourself against identity theft and fraud. Business owners or homeowners alike should make it a priority to destroy all documents that may contain personal data.

Identity thieves can use your Social Security number, date of birth and other personal information to open credit cards, apply for loans or make purchases online. They also have the potential to utilize an unused resume as employment history which could then be utilized in order to engage in fraudulent activity.

What type of document to shred depends on its content. However, it’s wise to destroy anything that contains your social security number. Additionally, documents containing medical and legal information should also be destroyed.

Additionally, shred receipts for purchases, sales and cash withdrawal receipts from ATMs, junk mail credit card offers and any other paper documents containing your personal information. It’s best to shred these documents within one year after paying them or using them to dispute a transaction.

Keep a Close Eye on Your Mailbox

Maintaining the security of your mailbox is one of the most efficient methods to guard against identity theft and fraud. Sensitive documents, such as credit card statements, loan invoices, bills, checks, tax forms and healthcare records often end up in the mail – make sure these items are kept private!

Maintain a close watch on your mailbox and promptly retrieve any mail received. Doing this allows you to take action quickly in the event of anything suspicious or having your mailbox stolen.

Additionally, be sure to regularly review your credit card and bank statements for fraudulent charges. If someone makes charges that you don’t recognize, notify the financial institutions immediately.

Identity thieves often resort to theft of physical mail that contains your personal information, such as credit card statements, utility bills, health care and tax forms and pre-approved credit offers.

Set Up Two-Factor Authentication

Two-Factor Authentication adds an extra layer of protection to your account by requiring a device or app for verification. This helps thwart phishing and social engineering attacks that use a user’s password to gain access to their account information.

Consumers can opt to enable two-factor authentication for a variety of accounts, such as credit card and utility services, social media sites like Facebook. Once enabled, an account will be unlocked with either your mobile device or third-party authentication app with a security code sent directly to either.

Two-factor authentication is the best way to safeguard yourself against identity theft and fraud. Plus, it saves you from having to remember multiple passwords – making it a much simpler solution!

Government: State and federal governments are adopting 2FA solutions as they modernize their IT infrastructures. Duo’s push-based 2FA solution is ideal for this task, helping administrators roll out zero trust policies that keep users protected while meeting security objectives at a pace that works for their organization.

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