We use personal data every day to perform different tasks like accessing credit card accounts, email, bank, social media, and other accounts protected by passwords. However, the main challenge is that your personal information or identity can be stolen by criminals for fraudulent purposes. The good news is that there are different measures you can take to prevent identity theft. Read on to learn how to protect your personal information and prevent identity fraud.
Secure your Accounts With Strong Passwords
First and foremost, you should secure your accounts with strong passwords that are difficult to guess. Make sure your password for each account is long, unique, and complex. Do not include details related to your identity like date of birth, nickname, or initials since these are easy to guess. It is essential to ensure that your password consists of at least 15 characters including caps and figures. You should also change your password regularly to prevent any case of identity fraud. More importantly, do not divulge your password to anyone, not even the most trusted persons.
Use Identity Theft Protection
Identity theft is becoming increasingly prevalent, and it can seriously impact your life in many ways. For instance, fraudsters can sell your information, use your identity at crime scenes, or open credit cards using your name. Fortunately, there are identity theft prevention services that are designed to protect your information from criminals. Identity theft companies can monitor your credit activities, provide alerts in case of fraud detection, and offer identity theft insurance if you are a victim of data breaches.
Different organizations offer identity monitoring services, so choosing the ideal service provider can be overwhelming. It is crucial to see the best ID theft companies at SFGate.com to make an informed decision. To select the appropriate identity theft protection service, you should compare the plans available in terms of price, features, and company reputation. The following are some of the services you can get from identity monitoring companies.
- Dark web monitoring
- Data breach notifications
- Credit card monitoring
- Tax refund alerts
- Bank account monitoring
- Home title monitoring
With this kind of service, you can get peace of mind since you will get an alert if there is any suspicious activity detected on your account.
Monitor Your Credit
You can also protect your personal information by checking all your credit reports regularly. You can achieve this by using credit monitoring services. It is vital to get the best credit security services to secure your credit through the use of different features like data breach notifications, identity theft insurance, the dark web, and credit monitoring. With a premium service, you can enjoy extensive credit card protection features against identity theft and fraud. All you need to do is choose a reputable company that can provide the services that suit your needs.
When performing confidential transactions like online banking, it is important to avoid using public networks like internet cafes. An unauthorized user can access the information you process via a public network. It is a good idea to use a virtual private network (VPN) to prevent cases of data breaches and theft. There are many benefits to be obtained from using a VPN like privacy and online anonymity. With an effective VPN, all activities online are not easily detectable or traceable. VPNs provide encrypted and secure internet connections that make it impossible for anyone to check your activity online.
A VPN will protect your IP address, and it provides you online freedom since you can do whatever you want knowing that you are protected. Data encryption also helps protect your browsing history to prevent other people from accessing it. Even if you forget to log out of your account accidentally, all the details are encrypted, and they are inaccessible to third parties. All your activities on the internet will reflect the VPN provider’s server IP address wherever you go across the globe. A VPN can also help protect your devices like laptops, smartphones, and tablets. This will give you peace of mind knowing that your data and devices are protected.
Collect Mail Daily
Some daring criminals can steal your personal information from your postal mail in the mailbox. If you receive utility bills, credit cards, and bank statements, tax forms, and other statements via postal services, make sure you check your mailbox every day. When disposing of your physical documents, make sure you shred them so that it cannot be easy to read them. Place the shredded material in a safe can that may not be accessed by other persons.
Install Anti-virus Software
You can also protect your personal information by installing antivirus software on your device. Malware and other kinds of viruses can destroy all your information saved on any device that is not protected. In worst-case scenarios, viruses can damage your device, and you may no longer be able to access anything stored on it. Therefore, you must choose the right antivirus program that can protect your data and gadget. Furthermore, make sure you have a backup for your data so that you do not lose it in case your computer crashes.
Freeze Your Credit
Another viable option to prevent identity fraud is to freeze your credit with the major credit bureaus. This will help restrict access to your credit files when someone impersonates you and requests a credit report on your behalf. You can freeze your credit freely and also unfreeze it whenever you want.
Check Your Financial and Medical Statements
You must closely monitor all your financial and medical statements and go through every transaction. It is vital that you recognize every transaction entered on your statements and raise a red flag when you suspect foul play. If you do not get the statement you are expecting, call to establish the reasons behind the delays.
Personal information plays a critical role in our everyday lives since we use it to access different accounts that are protected by passwords. To prevent cases of identity fraud and protect your personal information, there are different measures you can take. The tips above are some of the viable options you can consider when securing your personal information.
Hardeep has always been a Windows lover ever since she got her hands on her first Windows XP PC. She has always been enthusiastic about technological stuff, especially Artificial Intelligence (AI) computing. Before joining PC Error Fix, she worked as a freelancer and worked on numerous technical projects.