Take these steps to protect your identity:
- Beware of solicitations asking for your personal information. They might call, email or text. If you didn’t initiate the communication, don’t give out your information. If they claim to be from customer service, hang up and call the number found on your statement.
- Review your bank and credit card statements and question any activity you are unsure of.
- Be careful with your paperwork. Take your receipts with you when you make a purchase or use an ATM. When it’s safe to dispose of old receipts, statements, or other paperwork containing your personal information always shred them. Never just throw them away.
- Review your credit reports a minimum of three times per year for incorrect information and dispute it.
- Keep your home computers up to date with antivirus software. Remember, it can get outdated quickly, so do your updates on a regular basis.
- Change your internet passwords regularly. Don’t use easy to guess passwords.
- Make sure you pick up your incoming mail as soon as possible and never use your home mailbox for outgoing mail. Always bring it to the post office or a mailbox.
None of these precautions will help you if someone has stolen your information from the database of a company you deal with. But, if you are vigilant about your identity, you can catch any fraudulent activity early on.