The pace of new technology and digital innovation seems to get faster every day. It’s hard to keep up with all the new functionality on our laptops, mobile devices and electronics.
Unfortunately, the pace of fraud and identity theft is also getting faster every day –– as criminals find new ways to get around security measures and steal people’s identities. In 2018, there were three million cases of fraud and identity theft reported –– and 25 percent of those victims lost money as a result.
Here are five things you can do to help prevent identity theft:
1. Make sure you have strong passwords
Avoid passwords that could be easily found out –– like your pet’s name or address. Experts say that random combinations of letters, numbers and special characters work best. When you change your password, make it completely different –– don’t just add a number to your old one. Change your passwords at least once a year.
2. Be careful what you share on social media
Anyone can see your name, birthday and family members’ names on social media channels like Facebook. Protect yourself by limiting the personal information in your profile, and never provide information to strangers requesting it in an email or phone call. Also, avoid clicking on links in emails and texts if you don’t recognize the sender –– it’s always best to navigate directly to a website rather than clicking on a link to it.
3. Guard your credit and debit cards
Use caution when shopping with credit and debit cards –– your card can be scanned by others using card reader technology, or a waiter could photograph your card and security number when you pay your bill in a restaurant. Never share your Personal Identification Number (PIN) or security number with anyone.
4. Protect the data on your mobile devices
Keep your software updated and use strong passwords and two-factor identification whenever possible. Turn your Bluetooth off unless you’re using it, and be aware that others may be able to see your data when using a public Wi-Fi. Also, be cautious about downloading free apps –– they may contain malware.
5. Monitor your credit and debit card statements
Review all your credit card and bank statements, and make sure you recognize every charge ––no matter how small they may be. Report any charges you don’t recognize. If you get paper statements, shred them instead of putting them in your garbage can, where anyone could steal them.
At KeyPoint, we’re dedicated to protecting your privacy, security and account information. If you ever suspect your confidential information has been compromised, call our Contact Center immediately at (888) 255-3637.