The digital world has offered us amazing opportunities and made life much more convenient. Through online technologies, we can access our bank account anywhere, pay bills in a matter of seconds, transfer money to a checking account and purchase music or movies straight to your device. All we have to do is swipe our finger on a smart phone. The internet acts as a super highway for moving money with very little effort on our part. With the right people using the internet, this process would be perfect.
Unfortunately, not all people are using the internet for good reasons. There are many out there who would steal your account information and use it for their own benefit. You could look at your account one day, only to find a drained account. Upon further investigation, you find that all of your money went to purchasing something you never purchased.
The good thing is there are different things you can do to help teach you how to prevent identity theft. We are here to help you keep your information safe and find the best identity theft protection for you.
Check your Credit Report
Federal law allows consumers one free credit report per year. You are entitled to a report from the 3 major credit bureaus. Look through your credit report for any suspicious activities. It is important to know if your credit score will be dinged by checking your score. Talk to a professional before doing so.
What Can You Do?
Although not everyone is honest on the web, there are some great things you can to do to help ensure your information is safe.
- Use a credit or debit card for all online purchases. Using a card keeps your actual money safe while allowing you the time to appeal your bank for credit card fraud. You can likely get the charge omitted from your bill well before the billing date. That way your money stays safe with you.
- If you are planning on making a lot of purchases online, call your bank and ask them for a randomized, temporary credit card number. You can set a preset limit on the card as well as an impending expiration date. That way, even if someone does get a hold of your card information, you and your bank will not be hit with a ridiculously large bill.
- Use an anonymizer. Look into how you can use a proxy server to mask your computer’s identity. Essentially, an anonymizer will make it appear that you are coming from a different internet location and will help protect your information.
- Make sure your anti-virus/security software’s operating system and browsers are protected with the latest, up-to-date, patches. Also, ensure that your computer/security software is set to automatic updates. When learning how to prevent identity theft, it is really important to always have a good anti-virus software.
- Back-up your hard drive and financial information to an external hard drive and keep in a safe place.
- Strengthen your passwords. Be aware that hackers use sophisticated software that simply runs through common, and not so common sets of words. Consider putting capitals in the middle, and mix up words with numbers. The more uncommon your password, the harder it will be to crack.
- Utilize your banking institutions alerts. You can sign up to have alerts for changes/charges made to your account sent to your mobile phone or email. With this trick, you can easily keep close track of your accounts.
- Be wary of public Wi-Fi. Be very wary of doing financial transactions over public Wi-Fi. You never know who is tapped into the Wi-Fi at the same time.
Your internet safety is vital and it is important to be alert. We hope you have learned some great tips on how to prevent identity theft. Thanks for reading!