In this article, you will learn the best tips for identity protection. As our society ages, more and more senior citizens are finding themselves the target of scammers. Knowing how to protect your identity can mean the difference between an enriching retirement and one that is riddled with anxiety.
However, it is always best to be proactive in identity protection from the scam artists out there. While it is impossible to avoid all of them, following our tips will help protect your identity! This article will teach you some identity protection tips for preventing yourself from becoming a victim of fraud or scams.
Keep Your Bank Account Safe!
Credit cards and bank accounts are the cornerstones of our everyday existence. We use these two to buy our daily necessities, pay for plane tickets or rent, and even pay for services we never expect, such as medical treatment. Credit card companies will often ask for our personal information to open a new account with them.
If you receive any type of collection calls asking you to confirm this information-run the other way!. The last thing you want is scammers using your personal information to open new accounts in your name and steal money from your bank account.
Protect Your Credit Report!
Credit reports are constantly being used by criminals looking for the next victim. Since we all need a good credit rating to get things done nowadays, it is essential to ensure that you protect your identity. This is precisely what credit reporting agencies are for, but unfortunately, they are not foolproof.
The companies that run these services often give information to creditors that they may not have permission to release. Plus, there are many unscrupulous people who will file complaints against innocent people hoping to obtain more information for themselves. To protect your identity, take these preventative steps:
- If you apply for a new credit card, be sure to read the fine print to see what information the company needs from you for them to issue a card.
- If you are receiving collection calls for debts you did not create, call the company up yourself and ask them if they are sure that the person calling is actually who they say they are.
- Make sure that your report is accurate before applying for a loan or checking into credit opportunities.
Tax Information & Identity Protection
Tax information is best kept private. Scammers may use this information to file taxes on your behalf and steal your refund, or they may even use your social security number to file enough false claims of dependents on their tax return that they receive money from the government. To protect your identity, be sure to shred any mail that contains personal information, such as individual tax forms, medical bills, and credit card bills.
Keep Your Social Security Number Private!
Social security numbers are the golden ticket to your identity protection. Scammers will often use this piece of information to open credit card accounts, get government benefits that you have not applied for, and even take out loans in your name. If you ever have a package delivered, you should always double-check to see that the name on the box matches the address it is being delivered to. This simple step will keep a lot of criminals at bay.
Passwords & Identity Protection
Passwords are like keys – they allow us entry into many places. If you let someone in, they may never leave. Hackers, in particular, love to steal passwords and gain access to your information. The best way to protect your identity is to keep the people who know the password to yourself.
Do not say it out loud or write it down on a sticky note on your computer. Instead, make sure that your password is something that would be impossible for others to guess. Secrets are best kept in your head. Many people will carry around a piece of paper with their passwords on it-but that is just a simple way to get your identity stolen. Be smart!
Don’t Give Out Your Personal Information!
This is not rocket science; if you do not have any information, there is no information for scammers to take! What this means in practice is that you should never give out personal information over the phone or online unless you are absolutely sure of the source. If you receive a call at your house asking for your social security number, hang up!
If you receive an email from an unknown sender with questions about your financial status – delete it! This helps in identity protection to protect yourself from Fraud and scammers. Failing to follow this advice will make it easier for scammers to steal information and take advantage of unknowledgeable people.
Follow The Law!
Many scams revolve around lies – and often, these lies are just an attempt to get us to break the law. For example, if you call someone claiming to be from the IRS regarding a past-due debt, don’t give them any information! They may ask for your social security number or other personal information, which is against the law! If you ever get a call like this, report it immediately to the IRS.
Also, keep in mind that it is against the law to pay a debt with a gift card of any kind. If you get a call from someone claiming to be a bank or a store issuing store gift cards for an overdue debt -hang up! Likewise, if you receive calls from scammers trying to coerce you into paying off debts using gift-cards, tell them to take their card and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine!
Trust Your Instincts!
If something doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t. This is an important lesson that can keep you from dealing with many problems in the future. If you are being asked to do something that seems odd or questionable, then your gut is probably on the right track.
You should never do certain things, whether it is someone asking for your social security number or an individual calling your house asking for your husband. Learn to trust your gut and you will never have to worry about fraud or scams!
Stop Acting Immediately When You Get a Call
This is probably the most important lesson of all. It is easy to get caught up in the moment and to think, “What if this is legit?” But if you do not let yourself decide right away, then you may miss out on a scam. When you get a call or email from a scammer, the best thing to do is to hang up the phone or close your email immediately.
If you are talking on the phone, then hang up! If you are on email, respond with “I can’t talk right now – I’m busy, call me back later” and close the email. Anything else could make you look too eager or suspicious when you don’t mean it. These calls usually only come in when there is something wrong in your life, so make sure that nothing is wrong!
Understand the Policy of Any Website That You Link To!
Therefore, be sure to read through these policies before making any transactions. If it seems like the website is asking for too much information, then leave it alone! The website may simply try to pull important information out of you without your knowledge, which can cause problems later on down the road.
Use Secure Internet and Social Networks For Identity Protection
Many of the things that we do online are kept record of on the internet, and these can be stolen or hacked. If you do not think this is a possibility, consider this: what if they sell your information to someone else? This type of theft is called identity theft, and it happens to many people each year.
You can do some things to maximize your identity protection: First, always use a virtual private network (VPN). This way, your information is encrypted and cannot be seen by anyone else. A VPN will also increase the speed and reliability of your internet connection – which helps your computer do a lot more work without slowing down.
Use a Strong Password For Identity Protection
Strong passwords are arguably an essential aspect of online security. If you use a weak or easy to guess password, then anyone can hack into your system, and your data will be at risk. An important tip is to use long passwords with both special characters and numbers. While this may make it harder for you to remember your password, it makes it much more difficult for others to hack into your account! Just make sure that you keep track of this information somewhere safe because if someone else gets their hands on your password, they will gain access to all the information that passes through your computer!
Consider Identity Protection Services
You may want to consider purchasing an identity protection service such as LifeLock. Services such as these will monitor all of your financial information including your bank statements and online accounts. This can be a good option to have all your accounts monitored. This will also ensure that there is no suspicious activity on any of them.