TIPS TO REDUCE THE RISK OF FINANCIAL IDENTITY THEFT

  1. Use a credit card, not a debit card.  You have less liability and the money is not taken directly out of your bank account.
  2. Have two credit cards, one with a lower limit for monthly purchases and one with a higher limit that is kept locked up to be used for emergencies or occasional high dollar purchases or travel.
  3. Use a locking mailbox or get a PO Box.  Never leave bank/credit card statements,  your new order of checks or your bill payments in an unlocked mailbox.
  4. Before using an ATM or fuel pump look to see if a skimmer has been attached.  If it looks suspicious, do not use it.
  5. Monitor your
    1. banking credit card statements every month.  If you detect suspicious activity notify the bank or credit card company first by phone then follow up in writing.
    2. credit report..  To get three free a year choose a different credit bureau every four months. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to order your free credit reports.
  6. RFID (radio frequency identifier) -most credit cards and all new passports contain RFID technology.  Wrap the card in aluminum foil or use an aluminum lined credit card sleeve to block the RFID signal..
  7. Shred, shred, shred – anything you would not want posted on the Internet should be shredded.  Don’t stop there – mix the shredded paper with your other garbage or pour used coffee grounds on them.
  8. Do not link all of your bank accounts together.  Do not keep all of your bank accounts at one financial institution.
  9. While using the Internet look for signs of a secure site “https” or a padlock.  Also monitor the URL box to detect redirection to a spoofed website.
  10. Do not click on a link in an email, even from friends/family, until you receive verbal confirmation they sent the email.  This also applies to links in emails from businesses.
  11. Use and keep to date antivirus, anti-spyware and firewall software.  Do not ignore software updates as they contain security patches to protect your computer.
  12. Password protect your wireless router at home and at work.
  13. Use strong passwords (letters, numbers and symbols) and change them often, minimum every six months.  Also, do not use the same password for all of your accounts.

Get these and other great tips in the identity theft go-to-guide Your Public Identity, Because Nothing is Private Anymore by Carrie Kerskie.  The book is available at Amazon.com.

Identity theft expert, Carrie Kerskie, is the President of Kerskie Group Inc and a published speaker.  Contact Carrie to have her speak at your next event  (239) 435-9111 or by email