As we’ve noted before identity theft can happen anywhere to anyone. Over nine million people have been affected by identity theft and as we move toward managing our finances online it becomes even more important to keep your identity safe.
Identifying identity theft isn’t that easy and sometimes you end up finding out that your identity has been stolen after it is too late. The average amount lost per household due to identity theft is over $1,500. In an effort to protect yourself, along with your hard earned money, take a few of these precautions.
- Try using varying passwords for your online accounts. You’re likely to stick to using the same one over and over again, but if a thief catches on to this then you’re basically giving them easy entry into your life.
- Don’t make your passwords too easy. Did you know that some of the most common passwords include “12345” and “password” – if you’re already rethinking your password then it’s time to change it. Many companies are insistent that your password have a certain amount of characters or upper and lower case letters for a reason, that reason being your safety.
- Reading your bank and lender statements are important for many reasons, including stopping identity theft before it becomes a larger issue. Not only will you be able to spot fraudulent transactions you might also learn a bit about your own spending habits. If you receive paper statements don’t just throw them out, shred them before you dispose of them.
- Do not give out your password unless it is an emergency. It’s easy for us to casually provide our passwords to a friend or relative, but whom else could be listening? If you absolutely need to give out your password do so, but remember to change the password shortly after to avoid any lurkers and watch that accunt closely.
- Check your credit report each year. If your identity is stolen the thief may open up new accounts and avoid yours in an effort to not get caught. Checking your report each year will allow you to look over your accounts and be sure that no new ones were opened without your real authorization. You might also consider credit monitoring services.
- Leave your important documents at home. Unless you’re going to the department of motor vehicles, there really isn’t any reason to carry around your social security card or a copy of your birth certificate. Your important documents should be tucked away safely at home only to be carried around when actually needed.
It’s become easier and easier for thieves to steal identities and ruin the credit of unsuspecting consumers. Don’t become a victim like millions of others have; protect yourself and your family. AmOne can help you find credit monitoring services to help protect your identity. If you have been impacted by identity theft they may also be able to connect you with credit repair help. Contact AmOne today to get more information.