Guarding Against ID Theft
Welcome to your Financial Fitness Minute. Guarding Against ID Theft.
Every week, there are new stories in the media about new ways criminals are trying to steal your information but keeping your private data secure doesn’t require Herculean efforts. Your personal information is a castle for you to protect from potential invaders.
No matter what the newest clever trick the ID thief has up his sleeve – phishing, smishing, skimming, scamming – it all comes down to an attempt to invade the four main pathways to your data castle: your social-security number, your account numbers, your computer, or your passwords, and identifying information. These are the four roads you need to vigilantly watch to safeguard your information.
By locking down this kind of information, making sure your computer has up-to-date security software, shredding statements, and account information, keeping your social-security card, and other essential documents in a safe, and secure place, and using strong, varied passwords, you make your financial life much more difficult for criminals to access.
Similarly, there are four main roads leading out of your castle. These are your check systems, and credit reports, your existing financial information, your government, or insurance accounts, and your communications. If an identity thief has slipped past your efforts to guard the information in your castle, you’ll be able to spot the thief, as he exits with your information on one of these roads, as long as you stay alert.
Getting collection calls, or bills for purchases you didn’t make, or finding unusual activity on your credit report, or accounts may be flags that your information was compromised. Check your statements regularly, and your credit reports every year. By monitoring the roads in, and out, you will be able to better protect your castle, and your information.
Thank you for joining us for this Financial Fitness Minute.