According to the Department of Justice, in 2014 alone, 17 million cases of Americans were reported to be victims of identity theft. Breach reports become very common over the news and many of us find it a normal daily occurrence. However, identity theft is everybody’s concern. In fact, hackers have become so skillful that they can open even your newly issued credit card and this can still happen for many years to come.
Your personal information will be sold by hackers on the dark web. The clever thieves will put this information together that will tell so much about you and come up with a profile to reveal security questions and find access to all sorts of personal data on your Facebook page which they can use even to open your bank accounts.
There are many options for identity theft protection that you can choose from to secure your financial data but it is all up to you how you will set road blocks to prevent thieves from accessing your personal information. Among these are as follows:
The most effective way known is the credit freeze. This is used especially by those who had their information compromised. This is by using the 3 data companies namely; Equifax (EFX), Transunion (TRU) and Experian. By freezing your credit information, your credit history access will be shut off. It slams its door to any new account fraud. However, such services come with a price amounting to $2 up to $12 in every freeze per bureau. However, this comes free if you are already a victim of identity theft.
Regular Online Banking Monitor
The usual monthly statement scanning is never enough to counter hackers these days. You need to check on your online banking more frequently and a weekly check on your online statement will be more preventive. This gives you an added advantage of checking nuisance charges that you may have missed.
Set Up Free Fraud Alerts
You can set up free fraud alerts but make sure that you inform your bank about this first. Majority of them allows client to do so. This way, you would know if there are unauthorized wire transfers made or if international charges were added to your transactions.
By changing password to your account from time to time, you can prevent hackers from accessing your account. Aside from changing password, you may also change the email address linked to your account.
Safe Disposal of Confidential Documents
Not all hackers use online information to penetrate to your financial assets. Some of them are old school and use your mail or dig through your dumpster and garbage to gather information. Hence, it is best to shred these documents before throwing them into the bin. Even your bills are valuable tool for thieves so throw them safely as well.
Taking Extra Precautions
Even the most advanced technology can never guarantee that you are safe from identity thieves. Perhaps you wish that a chip on credit cards will be invented so no one can peek into your financial information but you need to know that identity thieves are getting too savvy and resourceful as well. Hence, the best way to protect yourself is to be your own security guard and exhaust all your effort to protect all your finances.