Don’t allow yourself to become a victim of identity theft! Here’s How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft.
In 2007, I found out I was a victim of identity theft.
I remember the scenario very well. I was teaching second grade during my husband’s very first assignment as a military family out of state. My dad called me and left a message on my phone. During my break, I called my dad back and he told me that a credit card company kept calling the house and asking for me. I jotted down the number and called the credit card company to see why this matter seemed so urgent.
The collector on the other end of the phone told me that I owed money on a credit card and that I needed to pay it immediately. This was a shock to me because I didn’t carry a balance on the card that I had.
For the next few minutes, I received information that definitely didn’t sound right and I knew that my identity was stolen. Talk about a scary moment.
For the next several weeks, I tried very hard to clear this matter up. I had to make several phone calls to the collector and filed police reports as well. It was a pain to deal with and I still remember the headache I went through. Being that this was our first assignment and we were just starting to make money, we knew that we needed to keep our finances in order and do everything we could to protect ourselves from this happening again. I did not want this to affect my husband’s career in the military or my career as a teacher!
Here we are almost ten years later. I still remember this incident like it was yesterday. As a busy mom with two children and one on the way, it’s important that we stay protected and keep track of all of our finances. I highly recommend that you do the same to avoid the headache and pain that we went through, especially as a young couple in the military. Here are my tips for keeping yourself protected.
Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
Monitor Your Credit Reports
Use Caution Online
Use caution when posting personal information online, especially on social media networking sites. Become familiar with PII (Personally identifiable information) and protect your information from others.
Update your anti-virus and anti-malware software to help protect yourself from questionable links and attachments that may come through your email or while browsing the internet.
Shred papers that contain any personal information on them. Many military orders and documents contain a lot of personal information on them. Shred these documents in your personal paper shredder instead of just tossing them into the trash to avoid someone coming across your personal information.
Use a Secure Wi-Fi Connection
Use a secure network when logging on to the internet when traveling or when you are at restaurants, hotels, libraries, etc.
Use Strong Passwords
Create passwords that aren’t common and use a variety of numbers, letters, special characters, and/or caps and no caps. Store these passwords in a safe location or in a password book.
These tips above may help protect you from identity theft and may help you avoid becoming a victim of account fraud.
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