June 6, 2014

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How Can I Protect My Identity at Home?

Your home is your castle and safe haven, but you’re still at risk for identity theft when you’re sitting on the couch. It’s essential to take precautions that cover your bases beyond when you’re out and about. Review this checklist of ways to secure your identity at home and keep your family safe.

Protect Your House

It’s easy to think about identity theft as something that happens online, but an old-fashioned burglar can still break into your home.

  • Keep important documents locked. Taxes, banking documents, passports, and other sensitive documents should be locked away.
  • Invest in a shredder. Any statements, receipts, or promotional materials that contain personal information should be shredded before being tossed in the trash.
  • Pay close attention to anyone who enters your home––from contractors to family. Unfortunately, a significant amount of identity thefts occur by someone the victim knows.

Watch Your Devices

Between phones, PCs, and tablets, we have more electronic devices than ever. Don’t make it easy for identity thieves to get into your devices.

  • Never give any personal information over the phone unless you place the call. Scammers have perfected the art of seeming like legitimate companies.
  • Be wary of texts from unknown numbers. Smishing scams are becoming increasingly popular on smartphones.
  • Not only should you have password-protected Wi-Fi, you should also regularly change the username and passwords on your modems.
  • Password-protect your computers and tablets. Even if you’re the only one who uses them and they never leave the house––don’t make it easy for burglars to access your devices.

Remember Your Online Presence

So far you’ve made it hard for thieves to get to your devices and then break into them; now make it impossible for them to steal your personal info if they do.

  • Use different passwords for everything. This way a thief won’t have access to all your accounts if they obtain one password. Use a password manager to keep track of them.
  • Many sites will ask to save your information for future purchases. Don’t allow this. Thieves will go to popular pages like Amazon to get your credit card numbers.
  • Follow website privacy updates. Some social media sites make changes to display your personal information, including hometown and birthday. Track any privacy updates and keep your accounts secure. Some updates may reveal personal information you aren’t comfortable sharing with the general public.

Protect What Matters Most

Most of these are small changes you can make to dramatically reduce your risk of identity theft. A product like IdentityForce’s UltraSecure can also help you keep your identity safe inside and outside of your home. With UltraSecure your personal information will be monitored 24/7 and you’ll be notified immediately of any suspicious activity so you can act before any damage is done. If anything does happen, IdentityForce will be with you every step of the way helping you restore your identity.

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Heidi Daitch

Director, Strategic Programs at IdentityForce
Heidi is a busy working mom who juggles many of the same responsibilities and challenges at home and at work - a long list of things to do and not enough time to do everything. With so little time, Heidi tries hard to find simple, but effective strategies to save time for what’s really important – spending time with her family.
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