Reduce Risk of Identity Theft

Every year, millions of Americans fall victim to identity theft, costing consumers billions of dollars in stolen money and lost time. But, by taking the proper precautions, you can help
reduce the risk of having your personal information compromised.

Don’t hand out personal information

Though obvious, don’t
publicly share your basic information, including on social media. Making your name, address, phone number and other personal identifying information available to everyone on the internet is a gateway to theft.

Secure Social Security number

Do not carry your Social Security Number with you and do not give it out unless absolutely necessary (and preferably not by electronic communication or over the phone).

Passwords and encryption

Use complex passwords to minimize the possibility of your accounts getting hacked. Additionally, put encryption methods on your mobile device to ensure security in the event of loss/theft.

Be cautious with unsecure connections

Public Wi-Fi sources at the local coffee shop can be dangerous. If your computer network settings are not secure enough, your information could be tracked.

Enable automatic alerts

Many financial institutions offer alerts if there is suspicious activity on your accounts or cards, giving you a chance to stop theft quickly.

Shred documents

Most financial transactions are done online. If you have hard copies of financial information that do not need to be saved, shred them before disposal to ensure the data is destroyed.

Get credit reports annually

You can get a free credit report every 12 months from one of the three credit reporting companies. Check your credit report often to ensure there are no suspicious activities.

Ignore phishing scams in emails

With basic information often available to thieves, personalized emails can trick you into giving out valuable data. If a suspicious email wants your information, delete it.

Use anti-virus software

By utilizing anti-virus software, you can better protect yourself from invasive software that can steal your information.