Article | 1:50 min read

Guarding Against Identity Theft


You can never be too careful when it comes to protecting yourself from cyber fraud. Here are a few suggestions to help keep you and your money safe from cyber threats:

A metal padlock sitting on top of a computer keyboard

Protect your personal information
Personal information like bank statements and credit card bills can be stolen and used to steal your identity if they end up in the wrong hands. A good way to prevent this from happening is to shred any documents which may have personal information instead of just recycling or throwing them away.

Your Social Security Number is a very valuable piece of information, and should be guarded. Even if someone manages to steal your driver's license or some other form of identification, it will be hard for them to engage in any sort of financial fraud without your social security number. Make sure you keep your card in a safe place at all times, and be mindful about giving your Social Security Number out.

Be careful with online purchases
When using a credit card to make a purchase online, look for “https” at the beginning of the URL. The “s” denotes a secured connection, and if a trusted site doesn't have “https” in the URL box, it could mean your information is not secure.

If want to make a purchase from a website that is less trusted, see if you can find any reviews about it before committing to the purchase. There are numerous websites that can examine a URL and determine whether or not it is trustworthy. Taking a few extra minutes to make sure the website is safe can prevent a lot of headaches in the future.

Catch it quickly
According to a USA today report, eighty-six percent of identity theft involves accounts that have already been open [1]. Fortunately this is the easiest to detect and is easy to report. If you do find that someone has been using your credit card, or using your personal information without your permission, report it as quickly as possible.

Most credit card companies offer protection from identity theft as long as it is reported in a timely manner. An easy way to keep an eye on your credit card purchases is to have all your receipts emailed to you. This will make it easy to spot any purchases you didn't make.


[1] Don't be a victim of identity theft, free ways to fight back, USA Today

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