33% of Americans Face Some Form of Identity Theft; Here are Five Steps To Safeguard Your Finances
It's been reported that almost 33% of Americans faced some form of identity theft in their lives and the number of identity thefts has been three times higher than in other countries, as per IdentityTheft.org. The growing number of cases is concerning, however, there are steps that you can take to ensure your safety and become less susceptible to these kinds of scams in the future. Before looking at the measures that will ensure your safety from identity theft here's a look at what is 'Identity Theft' in the first place.
What is Identity Theft?
Identity Theft is when somebody tries to steal your personal information and uses it without your permission. Different types of identity theft can affect you and harm you in many ways. It's a diligent practice to stay updated. Because of today's digital world, everyone's information is at risk and one has to go out of their way to safeguard their information. Here are 5 ways you can tighten up your security and keep your finances secured...
1. Using strong passwords
While it may sound like stating the obvious, you may be surprised to hear that even today, many people make the mistake of using the same password for all their accounts across all platforms. This makes hacking your accounts extremely simple for hackers, especially in today's day and age where technology seems to be achieving anything and everything. You also need to make sure that your two-factor authentication is turned on so that your devices are linked and you are alerted in case of any breach. If you are not sure where to start it's a good idea to rely on a password manager that can help you to secure your identity.
2. Try going digital and avoid any physical paper
Reach out to your bank stop all the mail that you get and go paperless instead. This will help you to not get any sensitive pieces of information in your mailbox which believe it or not makes you more susceptible to data breaches. There's a higher chance of misplacing the information when it exists in the physical world. Needless to say, there are many more pros to hoping paperless and therefore it's a good idea that you consider this measure.
3. Don't connect to public wifi
While this is easier said than done, it's important to avoid connecting to public wifi when and where you can. Yes, it's bad news that anybody can access your personal information if you're logged into an unsecured internet network. Remember, that a hacker can always place themselves between you and the connecting point, this puts you in a particularly susceptible position. We are sorry to break it to you that even the hotel's wifi is not safe and it's better to stick to your service provider's internet when you are staying at any hotel.
4. Keep track of your credit score
It's important to keep a tab to avoid any misreporting by financial institutions. On the report make sure that the accounts listed are yours and not anybody else's. Always look for any suspicious thing in the report and if you notice anything unusual, reach out to your bank immediately. If you want to check your credit report today, head to AnnualCreditReport.com and check it instantly. Apart from this, keeping a tab will also help you to gradually improve your credit score.
5. Review your bank statements regularly
This is extremely important as it can avoid potential fraud. This step will also help to see if there's any unauthorized activity happening. Yes, keeping tabs on bank statements goes hand in hand with your cybersecurity. It's a great idea to set up alerts, that if your credit card is used, you will get a text message or a mail that will let you know the details. Remember, that your statement is a snapshot of any unauthorized activity.
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