Helpful tips for keeping your information private.
Seems like all we hear about on the news is that someone’s identity was stolen or credit cards were hacked at a store or a credit card processing service. While we have little control over their systems, we can make efforts to protect our internet privacy.
- Internet Passwords – many people use their spouse’s name, children’s name, address, etc. as their password for internet shopping or use the same password for multiple sites. If this is you, change your passwords right now. Thieves can learn about each of us on-line and those are the first words they will use to steal your identity. Instead use a magic word and change a few letters to numbers. Let’s use “flower” as an example. Spell it like this, “fl0w3r”. Then assign a number to each on-line account and add the number to the end of fl0w3r. Electric bill is #1 (fl0w3r1), cable bill is #2 (fl0w3r2) and keep going. Not only will you be able to remember your password, you will be more secure on the internet highway.
- Monitor credit scores – many people have no idea their identity has been stolen until they either go for a big purchase or check their credit reports. The Fair Credit Report Act states that credit bureaus are required to provide consumers with a free copy of their credit report every 12 months. Review your credit report every 12 months and dispute any discrepancy you find. You will have to provide proof of the discrepancy to the Credit Bureaus so make sure you have accurate financial records.
- Keep social security numbers private – how many times have you been asked to provide a social security number on medical forms? Either keep the line blank or write only the last 4 digits. Think about all the people that have access to your medical records in a doctors’ office.
Keep your credit healthy by following these easy steps.
Internet privacy and protecting yourself online is very important. Contact us for more information on reputable identity protection services.