Identity Theft Prevention Tips

According to the National Crime Prevention Council, 43% of all identity thefts are committed by someone the victim knows. All a thief needs is your Social Security number. Identity theft is relatively easy to commit, but investigating & prosecuting it is complex & time-consuming.

Identity theft is committed in several ways:

  • Stealing credit card payments & other outgoing mail from mailboxes.
  • Digging through garbage cans/dumpsters for find cancelled checks, bank statements, credit card statements, etc.
  • Hacking into personal computers & stealing personal data.
  • Filing a change of address form in the victim’s name to divert mail to gather personal & financial data.

Ways to protect yourself:

  • Treat your Social Security number as confidential information.
  • Mobile Banking users protect your mobile devices by regularly installing operating system and firmware updates in a timely manner.
  • Purchase a personal shredder & use it at home rather than simply throwing away copies of checks, bank statements, credit card statements, etc.
  • NEVER write down passwords & change them frequently. Also, avoid using “common” passwords & establishing a “pattern” of password(s).
  • When using an ATM, make sure no one is hovering over you to see you enter your PIN.
  • Offers/Giveaways that are “too good to be true” may very well be the case –be careful & attentive when giving personal information out.

If you would like further information regarding cybersecurity awareness, please visit the following link: