Every day, you do what you can to stay safe — you lock your car after parking, keep your wallet and smartphone within reach, and stay alert in high-crime areas. But are you bringing that same level of awareness to preventing identity theft? Do you know how to prevent identity theft?
With so many security warnings about scammers, fraudsters and criminals, people have become far more careful with their personal information, leading to better protection overall. Sometimes, though, security can get lax — especially when people are in a hurry or have their minds on other tasks.
Here are some areas where it pays to pay more attention, with a focus on how to prevent identity theft:
- Social media posts: Adjusting your security settings can be helpful for thwarting some identity theft, but don’t get complacent when it comes to what you’re posting. Some sites, like Facebook, allow non-friends to see private posts, depending on who’s commenting. Practice safe posting by limiting how much information you share. For example, the name of a pet might give an identity thief an opportunity to crack two-step authentication if that’s one of your security questions.
- Passwords: Security experts are constantly giving advice on passwords. There’s a good reason for this: Strong passwords are one of the best ways to keep the bad guys out — and a key tactic for avoiding identity theft. When aiming to strengthen passwords, it’s helpful to know how passwords are compromised so you can develop better strategies to keep yours safe.
- Public Wi-Fi: Wonderfully convenient and often free, public Wi-Fi is a boon for telecommuting and traveling. However, think twice before jumping into the Internet stream at your local coffee shop. By using public Wi-Fi, you could be sharing information with any other person using that network. While that might not be a concern if you’re playing games or watching YouTube, consider everything on your computer that can be accessed if someone were to slip in. If you do have to depend on a public Wi-Fi connection, put some protections in place to ensure you don’t compromise your security.
- Workplace habits: For many people, checking personal email during a break or over lunch is just part of their office routine. But if you’re using the company network, keep in mind that what you input becomes part of the company’s data. If there’s a data breach, or an information-related lawsuit, your emails could be involved.
Another tactic to prevent identity theft is enrolling in a product like IdentityForce which helps you monitor your personal information 24/7 and notifies you quickly of any suspicious activity. And if any identity theft damage does occur, IdentityForce will be with you every step of the way to help you restore your identity with $1,000,000 in identity theft insurance and fully managed identity theft restoration services.
Image courtesy of David Goehring.