Security ADVICE | Identity Theft
Preventing Identity Theft During the Holidays
Published November 16, 2022
- Check your credit report regularly.
- Be cautious online. Don’t click unknown links.
- Stay extra vigilant during the holiday season!
Some people love taking what doesn’t belong to them. During the holidays this year, be extra careful to make sure that you’re keeping your finances safe from these shady people! Here are four tips for protecting your identity during this holiday season…
Keep Your Eyes Peeled
If checking your credit report isn’t something you do regularly, you should change that. If a thief opens up an account in your name, this will be an easy red flag to detect. Although it used to be a hassle, there are a few sites that provide free credit reports these days.
Shred Then Toss
When you take your trash to the curb every week, make sure you’re not throwing anything away that a fraudster could find valuable. Anything that contains account numbers, banking information, or social security numbers would be highly desirable to a thief. Make sure anything that qualifies gets put in the shredder before your toss it.
Be Cautious Online
One of the ways cybercriminals get sensitive information is by phishing, or posing as a legitimate company that you trust. Don’t click a link in an email that’s asking for your personal information. Anything that looks fishy (no pun intended) should be verified with the company first. Also, make sure you’re not doing things like logging into your online banking from a random, unsecured Wi-Fi.
Update Your Passwords
Querty123 isn’t a password I’d go with. It’s time to do better. Think of a phrase or question like, “I am really looking forward to the 2022 World Cup!” Then use the initials, symbols, and numbers to create your password. That would look like this: “Iarlftt2022WC!” No one is going to guess that one. According to Security.org, it would take a computer about 2 hundred million years to crack it!
Article Written by John Pettit, CU Insight