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: IdentityTheft.gov.