Sunday, September 20, 2015

Everyday ID Theft Protection

Did you know that some of your everyday activities can put you at risk for identity theft?  Know where you are at risk in order to provide yourself with ID theft protection.

At your job.  You had to provide your social security number when you got your job, and often employers do a background check before they hire someone.  To protect from ID theft, make sure that your company is taking good care of this personal information.  Is it just stored in a file cabinet that anyone can have access to?  Are electronic records protected by the latest technology?  Remember that is not just your social security number at risk, those background checks can include all sorts of valuable information.

As a parent.  Child identity theft is becoming more common.  Thieves like to take advantage of a child’s clean credit history and the fact that the theft may not be discovered for many years.  To protect from ID theft, be careful who you give your child’s social security number to.  When someone requests it, ask what it will be used for and if another number will do.  Your pediatrician will likely need to have it, but your daycare or little league should not.  Monitor what your child posts on social media, and be careful when you provide information for other things such as music and gaming accounts.  Look for indications of child ID theft such as credit card offers or other mail generally meant for adults, or by checking for a credit report.

At the ATM.  To protect from ID theft, examine an ATM before using it.  If there appears to be signs of tampering, don’t use it.  Thieves can attach devices to an ATM that capture your card information and/or PIN.  Beware of who is around you.  If someone is standing too close, walk away and don’t use the ATM.  Also, try to only use ATMs that are associated with a well-known bank, especially when traveling.

Online.  Watch for phishing sites and emails.  Only enter personal information at well-known, secure sites, and if you receive an email asking for account or payment information, disregard it.  If you think the email may be legitimate, contact the company directly.

No comments:

Post a Comment