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How to Protect Your Family from Identity Theft
Identity theft knows no boundaries. It affects the young, old, sick, healthy, and individuals at every income level. Now’s the time to take a proactive approach to protecting your family. In this blog, we offer seven identity theft prevention tips you can use right away.
1. Don’t Volunteer Personal Data
The less personal information you volunteer, the less susceptible you are to identity theft. Avoid over-sharing personal details about your family on social media. Identity theft criminals scour sites like Facebook and Twitter looking for easy access to information they can use to steal your identity. And remember: You’re not required to provide your phone number or email when paying for your purchases at a retail store. The person behind you in line may be listening.
Criminals don’t have to look any further than your curbside trash and recycling bins to steal your identity. Any confidential personal, financial, and medical records should be shredded. Use a drop-off shred service to ensure your family’s data is destroyed with unparalleled security.
3. Prioritize Password Security
Still using your dog’s name or your child’s birthday as a password? You should have multiple complex passwords for every site and app you use. As a rule of thumb, if you can remember your passwords, they’re not secure enough. Use a password manager to remember and generate random, encrypted passwords for you. Use two-factor authentication for an added layer of protection.
4. Update Your Computer
When you’re busy, it’s easy to ignore those annoying updates that pop up on your computer screen. They’re there for a reason, though—to keep your software and network applications up to date with the latest security patches. The few minutes it takes to update your computer can save weeks or months of time and hassle restoring your identity.
5. Monitor Your Credit
Each member of your family is entitled to one free credit report every year from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus. Be sure to request these and scrutinize them for suspicious or incorrect information.
6. Freeze Your Child’s Credit
Here’s a disturbing trend: Children are increasingly at risk for identity theft. Because they’re not applying for credit yet, your child’s identity theft can go undetected for years. Freeze your child’s credit now to prevent thieves from racking up a bogus credit history your kids will have to straighten out before they can apply for student loans and credit cards.
7. Secure Your Wireless Network
Consider how many devices are connected to your home network. Each one offers a pathway for intruders to access your family’s data. Encryption is the best way to secure your home wireless network from hackers. Most routers come equipped with WPA and WPA2 encryption. Choose WPA2 for the highest security. Use a firewall and choose a secure password to protect your network.
By following these tips, you can make sure you and your family stay secure.
Records Management Center provides businesses throughout Augusta, Evans, Thomson, Martinez, GA, Aiken, SC, as well as the Central Savannah River Area, with professional records and information management solutions. To learn more, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.