Young or old, rich or poor, anyone is susceptible to identity theft. In fact, identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the nation, with almost 10 million incidents a year. The good news is that you are able to prevent your identity from being stolen — by being vigilant and responsible with your personal documents.
If you lose your credit card, let the card issuer know right away
Not only will your bank be able to give you a new card sooner, it will be able to temporarily freeze your account so no charges can go through. It will also let you know if charges have already been made, and file a report to get you your money back if there were erroneous expenses added to your account.
Do not use ATMs that are not attached to a bank
Stand alone ATMs are never a good idea because it is easier for thieves to install skimming devices on them that will capture your information when you swipe your card. As a rule of thumb, make sure to only use ATMs that are attached to a bank’s physical, brick-and-mortar building.
Invest in shredding services
Paper shredding services are crucial as medical bills and credit card statements all contain sensitive information. Always keep these invoices in a secure space, and once you do not need them anymore, make sure to shred them. This goes for credit cards as well! Businesses can also benefit from shredding services to protect both their employees’ and clients’ information. However, it is important to stay alert during the shredding process, as almost one-third of respondents said that paper documents were more at risk for an information breach while awaiting disposal or shredding.
Check your account at least daily
Thieves are fast! It is important to check your accounts on a regular basis in order to catch the thieves before the damage gets out of hand. Make this a habit and you will be able to become more familiar with your accounts.
Keep an eye out for our part 2 in this series!