Identity theft can strike when you least expect it, making your life quite difficult. That’s why it’s essential to be on the lookout and always do whatever you can to protect yourself and your accounts. But what are some ways to prevent identity theft? Let’s take a look.
Password-protect everything. The first thing to ensure is that you always have a password on your phone or mobile device, your computer, your online accounts, and absolutely anything that contains your personal information. And never leave yourself logged into those accounts because it only leaves you more vulnerable to someone getting your information. Passwords are your first line of defense when it comes to preventing identity theft.
Be careful where you post information. Watch the websites that you’re using and make sure that you’re only using ones that are reputable and that you trust. If you have to use a less than trustworthy or questionable site, make sure you’re using a prepaid card or going through a third-party service like PayPal to protect your information.
Protect your devices. Not only should you password-protect everything on your devices, but you should also protect those devices. That means not leaving them out where someone could easily grab them or where someone could easily see what you’re doing. Just because identity theft tends to happen online doesn’t mean it can’t happen in person (and it does entirely too often).
Ways to Prevent Identity Theft With Monitoring
Monitor your accounts. Always make sure to monitor your bank accounts or credit accounts. Please keep track of what money is going out of the account and where it’s going. Be sure you know exactly what each of those charges is for. Contact your bank or financial institution immediately if you don’t recognize a charge.
Monitor your credit report. Your credit report is another part of your financial story that you should always monitor. For example, suppose you start seeing information on your report that you don’t recognize. In that case, you can contact the credit reporting agency to have them verify that information or dispute it, which starts the process of getting things taken care of.
Report missing cards quickly. If you notice that your credit or debit cards are missing, report them immediately. The sooner you file a report, the more likely you will prevent someone from using those cards without authorization. This is perhaps one of the most important ways to prevent identity theft.
If you’re unsure how protected your accounts are, the first thing to do is find a company that can help find ways to prevent identity theft. That company is Experian, where you can quickly track your personal information and report problems.