Despite high concern about protecting your personal identity when you engage in various online data exchange, you must know that preventing identity theft is not easy. No matter how good security systems you might be using or how much vigilant you remain to protect your identity and personal information from the prying eyes of fraudsters, scamsters, and cybercriminals, you can never think of fool-proof protection. The best that you can do is to entrust a company that offers services in protecting your identity from theft, which minimizes the dangers but does not prevent it entirely. By referring to David Lampsen review, you can compare companies that offer such services and pick one that seems to be best for you.
Fraudsters engage in identity thefts from gaining access to your health insurance to using a child’s Social Security Number to establish credit and from updating credentials to gain access to an investment account to changing email passwords and many more. Scammers are always on the lookout to steal personal information by taking advantage of data breaches that happen frequently.
You must act smartly to halt the fraudsters and scamsters on their track and protect your identity from unauthorized access by using the tips below to lower the risk of identity theft.
Freeze your credit
As soon as you detect some malicious transactions by using your identity, act fast, and freeze your credits with the major credit bureaus Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. It will immediately stop access to your records, thereby preventing the opening of new credit until you allow it by unfreezing the accounts. You can freeze and unfreeze your credits with the credit bureaus free of cost, and it is a better alternative than locking your account that offers less legal protection. By using an app of the major credit bureaus, you can lock and unlock your credits from your smartphone.
If you do not want to freeze your credits, use the services of an identity theft protection company. The company cannot prevent malicious use of your identity but will alert you in advance of the impending danger so that you can avoid it. They can also help you to recover from fraud. The major credit bureaus also offer similar services for protecting identity theft. Still, the protections they offer are less, and there are chances of the credit bureaus being victims of a data breach.
Use strong passwords with authentication
Use unique and complex passwords for your accounts by taking help from the password manager to create and store impregnable passwords that are hard to break. Exercise discipline in using passwords and never re-use passwords no matter how old it might be. Security questions do add an extra layer of security. It will be wise not to rely on it too much because the questions’ patterns are easy to guess, and criminals use specialized software to understand it even more quickly. Instead, add an authenticator app that can reduce risk.
Protect your SSN
Your Social Security Number is the essential personal information because it is the master key that can help access all other information. Firstly, do not carry your Social Security Card with you, and if anyone asks for it, ask why it would be necessary and how it will remain protected. Be extra cautious to protect your SSN, and do not forget to shred every piece of the document where the number appears.
Rely on the shredder
Online threats are not the only ones that can endanger your personal information, but the devil may be in the way to dispose of documents that contain your personal information. Anyone who can access your bank or credit card statement will get all your personal information. Before discarding documents that contain your personal information, always remember to shred, and send it to the bin. Do not take chances with junk mail but shred it too.
Use a digital wallet
Stop the physical use of credit and debit cards and instead use a digital wallet for paying online in a store or use an app that contains digital versions of your credit and debit cards. Since these transactions are encrypted and tokenized, these are much safer. You do not have to dispense with your personal information during its use. Health risks are also less for contactless transactions.
Protect your devices
Assuming that you will be using your mobile devices more frequently for various types of online transactions, keep the devices well protected. Use a password to access your phone and use a PIN (personal identification number) on your cell phone account. Besides keeping the software updated, use two-factor identification for social media, financial, and other sensitive accounts. Use public Wi-Fi only when compelled, as these are highly unsafe as your data is visible to others.
Keep a close watch on your credit reports as well as medical and financial statements to detect any malicious transaction.