Identity Theft: Prevention Tips

Identity Theft: Prevention Tips
Financial Two Cents

Victims of identity theft typically suffer from substantial financial and emotional consequences. Unfortunately, there is no one reason for why thieves target the victims they do, sometimes it's simply because the information was made available to them. In an effort to help you spot the dangers, to reduce the risk and respond to identify theft, we've outlined the following tips below.

Evaluate the businesses you use

This is particularly important when dealing with online businesses. Some thieves will trick you with websites that may appear legitimate, so be sure to verify that the website is trustworthy before handing over any personal information. However, you can be a victim even through using legitimate websites. Utilize the website’s password and security features as an added layer of protection and take a look at the business’ privacy policy to see how the company will use or distribute your information.

Be aware of what information you make public

The internet and social media has made it a lot easier for people to obtain, sell and trade the personal and financial data of others. Thieves can gather information simply by browsing the information on your profile or your collection of posts. Do you post pictures of your pet name fluffy? Is that your password or answer to a security question?

Check your home network security

In addition to the information you choose to make public, be weary of the information you don’t. If a network connects to the internet, it’s still at risk and vulnerable to outside threats. Protect the data stored on your personal computer by installing a network firewall and using anti-virus software – and don’t forget to update frequently! Checkout out this article for more tips on how you can secure your home network.

Monitor your account activity

Although this won’t stop someone from taking your information, it does give you an opportunity to stop them in their tracks. Utilizing apps like HFS Mobile Banking or SavvyMoney helps you monitor your account for any suspicious purchases or activity. If you ever see a transaction with your account at HFS that doesn’t look familiar, contact us as soon as possible!