According to the 2019 Identity Fraud Study from Javelin Strategy & Research, the number of consumers who were victims of identity fraud in 2018 were 14.4 million. Here are a couple ways to help keep your personal information safe.
Watch out for Shoulder Peaks
Be alert when you checkout or use your card at an ATM. Make sure you do not have any unwanted eyes looking over shoulder for you credit number or pin number. Try to block their view with your body as much as possible so no one can see your valuable information.
Watch where you buy online
Only buy from reputable online marketplaces . One way to make sure your information is being protected is by looking at the URL of a website. If you sign into or get to a website’s checkout section, look for https:// at the beginning of the URL. Https:// means it has security measures in place. If you see http:// at the beginning then it does not. Do not fill out any personal information on website that do not begin with http:// in the URL
You should never purchase anything over public WiFi. It is unsecure and your information can be stolen. Also make sure your WiFi network at home is secure with password protection.
Create Strong Passwords
Creating a strong password can make your information more secure and harder to crack. You should use upper and lower case letters, special characters like !@#, and numbers.
Do not open suspicious emails and delete them immediately. There is no reason that a Nigerian Prince would be emailing you out of the blue for your help and asking for money.
Monitor Your Credit Cards
Monitoring your credit cards and bank information can help prevent and stop fraudulent charges before they get out of hand. Make sure you check on your accounts regularly. Also it is a good idea to sign up for a service like Life Lock. They can also help monitor your information
While there are several ways to help prevent identity theft, nothing is 100% full-proof. You may want to look into adding identity theft coverage. Most insurance companies offer this coverage as an endorsement on your homeowner’s or tenant insurance policies. This coverage is designed to help you recover from an identity theft. Talk with your local independent insurance agent to see if identity theft coverage would be right for you.