If you’ve ever had your personal information—like your name, birthdate, or Social Security number—stolen, you’re not alone.
In 2018, 14.4 million people were affected by identity fraud. It typically occurs when someone uses your personal information to open new accounts, purchase something, or get a tax refund.
The good news? By adopting a few smart strategies, you can reduce your chances of experiencing identify theft and keep your personal data protected.
2. Limit the Amount of Personal Data Out There
When using social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, think twice before sharing certain kinds of information—even if these sites have verified security measures in place that protect your data.
This includes your birthday, hometown, phone number, or even your pet’s name. All of these are things that identity thieves may use as answers to your security questions. This also applies to message boards and email.
Other smart rules to live by:
3. Protect Paper Documents
Everything from account statements thrown in the trash to mail stolen from your postbox can provide a wealth of information to identity thieves.
Safeguard your information by:
5. Stay Ahead of Scams
Identity thieves also use phishing to access your information. This scheme uses fake online ads from real banks or businesses that prompt you to input your information, which is then used to access your accounts.
You can protect yourself by:
With a proactive approach, you can stay ahead of—and minimize—your risk.
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