Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
In light of the recent Equifax breach, identity theft has been at the forefront of many members’ minds, and understandably so. With an estimated 143 million consumers impacted, many individuals are contemplating their next move – how to effectively safeguard not only their identity, but also their financial future.
Below are a few things you can do to help protect yourself against the risk of identity theft, and some steps to take should you find yourself a victim of it.
** CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE EQUIFAX DATA BREACH **
Tips to Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft:
- Check your account statements and transaction history often
- Report any suspicious activity immediately
- Sign up for Space Age Federal Credit Union's Internet Banking to receive alerts notifying you of account transactions
- Create strong passwords and change them frequently
- Consider a password manager app to generate and manage stronger passwords
- Avoid using public computers and public WiFi to access websites that store your personal information
- Keep your mobile device secure by only downloading apps from trusted sources such as iTunes or Google Play
- Shred paper documents such as credit card and bank statements
- If you believe your identity has been stolen, file a complaint with the FTC immediately
Resources for Members Dealing with Identity Theft:
- Contact the Three Major Credit Reporting Bureaus
How Identity Theft Happens:
- Through “Phishing, Pharming, or Pretexting” scams – Thieves have become very savvy with their verbiage, tricking victims into volunteering their personal information.
- Dumpster Diving – Thieves sift thoroughly through trash to find personal information, including your junk mail.
- Through your Web Browser! – If your browser automatically fills in your personal information and the site is compromised, the thieve can has all access to everything!
- Skimming” – A data storage devise placed on an ATM or other card reading machine to download your information when cards are swiped.
It can take a lot of time, money and energy to clean up the mess a thief has made of your good name and credit record. It takes an average resolution time of 40 hours per incident to repair the damage a thief has left behind, not to mention if the act was criminal!