How to Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

Do you know how to protect yourself from identity theft?

First, don’t waste time trying to find out if your personal financial info has been stolen because it really doesn’t matter. Take action NOW!

Put a credit freeze on your account at each of the three major credit bureaus

It’s easy to do this on-line and it’s free.

Equifax
Experian
Trans Union

Once you’ve done that, no one will be able to check your credit using those companies, making it nearly impossible for anyone to extend credit to someone pretending to be you. If YOU want your credit checked, for example when you’re looking for a job or applying for a car loan or mortgage, you’ll need to temporarily unfreeze your account.

To do that at Equifax or Experian, use the PIN number they gave you when you started the freeze. Remember to refreeze the account after the credit check is done.

To unfreeze your account at Trans Union, use the free app you got when you started the freeze (it’s included with their free TrueIdentity program). Remember to refreeze your account after the credit check is done.

Sign up for free credit scores and ongoing monitoring

Credit Karma

(I’ve had my account with them for several years).

Check your email every day and/or set yourself a text alert so you’ll know whenever they send you a message. Their service won’t do you any good if you don’t pay attention to the results they deliver!

Check your bank & credit card balances first thing every morning

(so you’ll be able to spot any suspicious transactions as soon as they occur and follow up on them)

Don’t click on any links in emails that look like they’re from your bank or credit card company; always log in to those sites directly from your web browser

That should keep you safe from phishing & pharming attacks as well as secret installations of malware and ransomware on your computer, tablet, or phone.

Stay safe!

P.S. If you’re a business owner, protecting your identity is super important. Knowing a few of your personal details can make it quite simple for an imposter to steal your entire web site. Make sure you have multi-factor authentication set up at your domain name registrar.