What You Can Do to Protect Yourself
The truth is that everyone faces some potential risk of identity theft. However, life is destined to happen and technology stops for no one. We live in a world where online transactions have become the norm—not the exception. Data breaches may happen, but there are things you should know and do to help protect yourself.
- Enact online transactions only at companies and organizations with a good reputation. Always check the URL of any banking, email or social media site before you log in. Typing the following URL, http://google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?site= (followed by the URL of the site you want to visit), is one way to verify if that website is legitimate.
- Verify the source before offering your social security number to any entity other than a financial institution, potential employer or utility company.
- Monitor the online retailers and companies you do business with. If you find out the company has experienced a security breach, log on to their website and change your password immediately. Have you used that same password for any other accounts?
- Install malware and firewall protection software on your computer. This also means securing your web browsing when using public networks.
Check Your Credit Reports Regularly
Check your credit reports from the three main bureaus regularly. Your credit reports can reveal if there is erroneous information, name changes, accounts or late payments, or any signs that might signal possible identity theft.
On a personal level, you can store documents that contain your social security number and personal information in a safe place. Don’t let bills and account statements pile up month-after-month, or year-after-year.
This article is provided for general guidance and information. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.
Published by permission from ConsumerInfo.com, Inc., an Experian company. © 2014 ConsumerInfo.com, Inc. All rights reserved.