Being a victim of identity theft is a nightmare of almost biblical proportions. The best way to avoid this from happening to you; keeping your identity safe is essential. You may think that since you have a smaller bank account, no one would bother stealing your identity. You are wrong. People can open credit card accounts in your name and run up significant debt before you’re even aware. You credit cards can be used without your knowledge until you receive the bill. Your credit score will take a huge hit if this happens.
Use these tips to help keep your identity and credit safe.
Shred All Physical Documents Before Disposing Of Them
You may have heard about how important it is to shred your documents before you dispose of them. You don’t have to use a paper shredder, though. Many different apps and websites will allow you to turn your documents into digital shreds. This makes it much easier to dispose of your sensitive information. You can also use a cross-cut paper shredder instead of a standard one so your documents can’t be reassembled. Or you can find a Local Shredding Service to do this on your behalf. You can also use a paper-free system to store important documents. This way, you’ll be able to access them whenever you need them, but they will be safely stored away from prying eyes.
Use Strong Passwords and Two-Factor Authentication
A strong password is one of the best ways to protect your identity. It may be a hassle to remember, but to keep online accounts safe; it’s necessary. A strong password is long, combines letters, numbers, and symbols, and isn’t based on patterns, such as a word or phrase. A strong password is complicated for hackers to crack and nearly impossible to guess. You don’t have to write down your password or store it in a note on your computer. Many different apps and websites will create and store your passwords for you. One such app is 1Password, which allows you to create and store a wide variety of logins easily. If you have a smartphone, you can also use the app 1Password for Android or 1Password for iOS to keep all of your logins secure and accessible with just a few clicks. Two-factor authentication adds another layer of security to your accounts. With two-factor authentication, you’ll have to confirm that you are who you say you are by providing a password and a unique code to which only you have access.
Be Careful When Clicking On Links
We all click on links to articles, videos, and other interesting websites. Unfortunately, some of these links could lead to malicious websites. You don’t have to be on a website you’re familiar with to be at risk. You could be on a site you’ve never seen before and still be at risk. To ensure you know where you’re going, hover your mouse over the link before you click on it. This will show you the full address of the website. If you don’t recognize the address, don’t click on it. You should also keep an eye on the website’s URL. If it’s short and seems out of the ordinary, it’s likely a malicious website. Be careful when clicking on links from emails and social media posts, too. They may direct you to malicious websites.
Don’t Give Out Sensitive Information Over The Phone
Dating sites are a great way to meet new people and can be a lot of fun. If you’re on a dating site, you may receive calls and messages from people you don’t know. This is a red flag. Don’t give out any personal information over the phone, even if it’s from a company you know. If someone calls you and asks you for your credit card number or Social Security number, they could be trying to steal your identity. Hang up the phone and report the call to your local authorities. Be careful with whom you talk to when you’re out, too. If you’re at a bar and someone asks you if you’re single and what you do for a living, don’t give them any information.
Keeping your identity safe is essential because it keeps you from being victimized or from having your reputation tarnished. But in today’s world, maintaining your privacy isn’t easy. Your digital footprint is larger than ever, and with hacks and data breaches at an all-time high, protecting your identity is more important than ever. Fortunately, with a bit of knowledge and the right tools, you can keep your identity secure.