How do you protect yourself from ID Theft?
Protect Your Social Security Number
- Don't carry your Social Security card in your wallet.
- Give your Social Security Number (SSN) only when absolutely necessary.
- Ask why a SSN is needed, who has access to it, and how it will be kept confidential.
- Don't print your SSN or driver's license number on your checks.
Protect Your Visa Card - Verified by Visa
Verified by Visa adds an extra layer of security to make it harder for someone else to use your Visa card to shop online in the unfortunate event your Visa card or account number is lost or stolen. Each time your Visa credit or debit card is presented to make an online purchase at a participating merchant, know that Verified by Visa is working to make sure it is you that is attempting to make that purchase and not someone else. There is no special software to install. You will continue to shop as usual, and your enrolled Visa card number will be automatically recognized at checkout. For more information or to enroll in this service please visit Verified by Visa Website
Watch Over Your Credit Reports
You are entitled to one free credit report each year from each nationwide credit bureau. To get your free report, go to www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228.
To track your credit during the year, request a free report from a different credit bureau every four months.
Protect PINs, Passwords and IDs
Don't carry your personal identification numbers (PIN) in your wallet or purse.
Don't share PINs, passwords or IDs, even with close friends or relatives.
Avoid using easily available information for your PINs, passwords and IDs such as your mother's maiden name, your or a family member's birth date, your SSN or phone number, or a series of consecutive numbers (i.e., 1, 2, 3, 4).
Choose a different PIN for each account.
Protect Your Information Online
Never send your SSN or financial account numbers by email or transmit these numbers online unless using a secure website or encryption software.
Shop only on secure websites, and read website privacy policies.
Watch accounts closely when account data is hacked and report suspicious charges. View the PDF from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Ensure that the information you use on social media sites is not the same information you use with your bank's internet banking credentials. User IDs, passwords and answers to security questions can often times be easily found on your various social media profiles. Don't make it easy for the bad guys!
Understand how GPS settings on your mobile devices and tablets affect your social media profiles. If the GPS function is enabled, you may become a target by being away on vacation or out of the office, etc.
Operating System Protection
Ensure that you have current anti-virus and anti-spyware products to protect yourself against malicious software that is created for the specific purpose of gathering information such as your User ID, password, and other critical information that may be stored on your computer.
Install a dedicated, actively managed firewall, especially if you have a broadband or dedicated connection to the Internet, such as DSL or cable. A firewall limits the potential for unauthorized access to a network and to computers.
Practice safe internet use. Never click on pop up messages or links to applications contained in emails. Try to get into the habit of manually going to links that are sent to you.