How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
Identity theft has grown dramatically along with increased use of smartphones and online commerce. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently announced new measures to help victims of identity theft recover their identities through enhancements to its consumer site identitytheft.gov. They also released new data about the number of identity theft and tax identity theft complaints they received in 2015. LegalShield and IDShield offer these top tips to protect your personal information and prevent identity theft in 2016:
Stop Before You Share
- If you are asked for sensitive information, such as a Social Security Number, ask why it is needed and what systems are in place to protect it.
- Be wary of sharing personal information over the phone or email, especially if you’ve received an unsolicited communication (even if you do regular business with the organization).
Watch the Wi-Fi
- A thief can sit at a popular Wi-Fi location such as a coffee shop and set up a fake hotspot. Any unprotected data sent over a fake Wi-Fi network can be saved to the thief’s computer. Use a virtual private network (VPN) connection whenever possible.
Be Security Savvy on Social Media
- Share personal information sparingly on social media sites.
- Explore privacy settings for your profile and control who gets to see the information you post.
Safeguard Your Statements
- Shred and dispose of any bank statements or other mail that contains personal information.
- If available, disable mailed statements and review statements through a secure network
Secure a Service
- Not all identity protection services are equal, so when selecting a protection service, consumers should look for services that offer web monitoring, credit monitoring and restoration.
IDShield provides comprehensive identity protection, from proactive consultations and monitoring to restoration in the event of identity theft. It is the only identity theft protection service with a network of licensed private investigators, a five million dollar service guarantee and 24/7 access to service.
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