Guard your personal information. You may know this already, but it bears repeating—don’t carry your Social Security card in your wallet or write your Social Security number on your checks. Only give it out when absolutely necessary. Ask if there is an alternative way for you to verify your identity. Don’t respond to unsolicited requests for personal information and store personal information in a safe place.
Be careful on social media. Don't post your date of birth, mother's maiden name, first pet's name, or other personal information on social media channels. Cyberthieves know that these are the details most often used to verify your identity and could allow for electronic access to your accounts
No paper trail left behind. Don’t make it easier on criminals by leaving behind ATM, credit card, or gas station receipts.
Keep an eye on your accounts. Pay attention to billing cycles. If bills or statements are late, contact the sender. Collect mail promptly so thieves don’t have a chance to get to account information on mail left in your box. Sign up for online access to your accounts and check regularly. If your financial institution or credit card issuer offers free online or mobile alerts sign up for those too.
Shred receipts and credit card offers as well as other unneeded paperwork contain personal information. Many financial institutions, including credit unions, offer free or low-cost shred days. Take advantage of those to safely discard of these items.
Be vigilant online. Install firewalls and virus detection software on your home computer and create complex passwords that fraudsters can’t easily guess. Change passwords often, especially if a company or organization has your information and has suffered a database breach.
Order your credit report once a year. Review it to make sure it doesn’t include accounts you have not authorized. Check it more frequently if you suspect someone has gained access to your account information.
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