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Credit Card eZine - News and Articles about Credit Cards

Credit Card eZine - News and Articles about Credit Cards

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3 Steps You Need To Take Now To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

[September 27th, 2017]

With recent headline news about data breaches and people’s personal information being exposed, many people are concerned about the possibility of identity theft. This is a legitimate concern, as there are millions of cases of identity theft every year. In 2016 alone, it’s estimated that one in 16 adults were victims of some type of identity theft.

There are many things you can do to protect yourself from this common and vicious type of fraud. But here are three simple steps that anyone can take today to secure their information and make it less likely that they will be a victim of identity theft.

1. Contact the three major credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – to request a freeze of your credit reports. This prevents new information from negatively affecting your credit score, while you make attempts to determine whether your personal data has been compromised. If it has, you will be able to take the necessary action to repair the damage, while your credit is effectively “on hold” and cannot suffer any further damage.
2. Take a close look at your credit reports. When you contact the credit reporting bureaus, ask them to provide you with copies of your credit report; they should do this for free. Once you get them, look them over carefully to see whether everything is correct and accurate. If it isn’t, or if there is anything suspicious, contact the entity that provided the information to the credit bureau, as well as to the credit bureau itself.
3. Change all your passwords to online banking and credit accounts, as well as your personal and work email, your social media accounts, and anywhere else that thieves might be able to use to hack into using your information. Make the passwords complex and difficult to guess; use a combination of capital and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters to make your passwords strong. You can use a program like LastPass to keep track of your passwords for you, and even remind you to change them every few months.

Of course, there are other things you need to do to keep your identity safe, including shredding mail, using secure Wi-Fi connections, and safeguarding your social security number and payment card information. But if you’re worried your information has already been compromised, these three steps are a good start.

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