A victim of identity theft spends about 600 hours trying to clear their identity. This means obtaining affidavits and reports that prove the theft, finding out what has been compromised, and working to retrieve their identity. That is a lot of time to spend on a crime that you have fallen victim to. Unfortunately, you cannot protect yourself 100% against identity theft. Fortunately, there are ways for you to reduce your risk by acting right away when your personal information has been compromised. So how do you improve your information security?
Place Fraud Alert
Place a fraud alert on your credit report by getting in touch with three credit bureaus. A fraud alert will last from 90 days to seven years and will notify businesses to take additional steps to confirm your identity once actions are taken on your credit.
Credit Report Security Freeze
A security freeze goes a step further than a fraud alert as it requires a PIN or password before a company can check your credit report. Compared to a fraud alert, there is a fee to place a security freeze on your credit report unless you are already a victim of identity theft.
Get Your Free Credit Reports
Every year, you are entitled to a single free credit report from every one of the three credit bureaus. By getting one of these reports once every four months, you could monitor your credit throughout the year. The only disadvantage is that you could only obtain one report from the bureau at a time. Therefore, when the identity theft does not appear on all three of the reports, you may miss it for a year.
Purchase Credit Reports
If you have used up your annual credit reports, you could always buy one for a minimum of $11 (Equifax) or all three for a minimum of $15 from TrueCredit.com. You might be able to obtain a free credit report when you subscribe to a credit monitoring service. Be sure that you cancel the credit monitoring service before the trial is up so that you won’t get charged.
Check Your Accounts Online
When your bank lets you view your accounts online, then sign up. Once done, log in so you can check your account on a regular basis to ensure that there are no unauthorized charges were made on your account. Protect your login information. Avoid writing it down and don’t tell your log in details to anyone.
Enrol In Credit Monitoring
Although it is not recommended due to the high costs compared to the alternatives, credit monitoring is one good way of detecting identity theft. Compare to the cost of a few credit monitoring services to the price of ordering your credit report, and you will find that purchasing a few credit reports a year could be cheaper. If you decide to enrol in a credit monitoring program, be sure to do your research well.
Keep Your Social Security Number Safe
Your social security number could be lethal to your credit if this sensitive information gets in the wrong hands. Don’t carry our social security card in your wallet. Do not write the number down. Don’t forget to be cautious especially when you are giving your number to a customer service representative.
Get Your Check Order
Another method for thieves to take your identity is through stolen checks. With your checking and routing account number, a thief could make new checks and use them to buy things. If you order new checks, get them from the bank instead of having it mailed to your house.
Stop Pre-Approved Credit Card Offers
All of those preapproved credit card offers contain some of your personal information on them. Thieves are known to utilize these offers to obtain credit cards on the name of the victim. Shred all the credit card offers before you throw them away. Or opt out immediately so you can stop them right away.
Pay Your Bills Online
When you mail bills, you are making it easy for thieves to steal your identity. Several banks now offer online bill pay. This is a much better alternative to sending your bills from an unsecured post office box.
Call SpartanTec Inc. if you want to make sure that your personal information are secure from various kinds of online threats.
Fayetteville, NC 28304
Fayetteville, NC 28304