This week is Consumer Protection Week, which means that we will be posting a few articles on our blog about how to keep yourself and your family safe. One of the most common consumer complaints we see is related to identity theft. When your identity is stolen, it’s difficult to set the record straight and fix any damage that was done.
So in this case (as in most others) preventative steps are the best way to keep harm at bay. Take a look at these seven identity theft tips you can start doing today and keep yourself and your loved ones safe from identity thieves.
- Use a password protection application like LastPass. LastPass keeps all of your passwords stored under one master password so that your passwords remain locked and safe. If you don’t want to use a program like LastPass, make sure that you change your passwords regularly to avoid potential theft -- and keep passwords complex (a good rule of thumb is one letter, one number, and a symbol).
- Resist the urge to share too much on social media. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn can feel very safe, but if your profile is public or you have “friends” that you don’t actually know in real life, you could be setting yourself up for identity theft when you share things like locations, personal documents, and other details of your life. Use security features in place on social media and think about whether or not you should really share those details.
- Look for the security symbol when you visit websites. If a site is secure, you will see a small lock symbol or other security feature in the search bar -- if a site looks suspicious, it probably is. Only visit sites you know and trust and never use your credit card on a site that doesn’t look safe.
- Don’t store credit card details on shopping platforms. Sure, entering your credit card details into that department store site for safekeeping is simple (and makes it easier to spend!), but sites can get hacked. Instead, take out your card every time and enter details manually.
- Know that public Wi-Fi can be unsafe. It’s fun to work at a cafe or use WiFi when you’re traveling, but save looking at your bank account or transferring funds for a time when you can use secure internet.
- Pop-ups and links can be fraudulent, so make sure you know what you are clicking on. If you get an email from someone with a link, check to make sure that person has actually sent the link. If you see a pop up on a site, close the window and do not enter your bank account or other details.
- Did you really rack up those charges? Did you get a bill for something that you don’t recall purchasing? If so, call the company that the charges are related to and ask for proof of purchase.
If you do think that you have been the victim of identity theft, call The Dellutri Law Group today.