5 Steps to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

Did you know that you can take simple steps to protect yourself from identity theft? Here are five steps we can all take to protect ourselves against identity theft

Start the process with these five steps:

Mix Up Your Passwords

Identity thieves are counting on the fact that you'll use the same password for all of your electronic devices and for your financial accounts. Don't include your name in any passwords, or your birthday. Change your password anytime you suspect an account is compromised.

Never Give Out Personal Information

Fraudsters may also regularly pose as bank or credit card company employee over the phone but doing so should be a dead giveaway. No legitimate organization will call and ask for your personal information-like a bank or credit card PIN number or social security number. If you suspect a call is potentially legitimate, ask for the caller's credentials, hang up and contact the organization use the phone number listed on your financial institutions bank statement.

Regularly Check Your Credit Reports

Credit reports will include any suspicious activity on your financial accounts. As a result, check your credit report regularly or any discrepancies. You can get a free credit report from each of the credit bureaus every 12 months on AnnualCreditReport.com.

Stay Away From Shady Websites and Links

Avoid clicking on any suspicious-looking links in emails or text messages. Identity thieves routinely use emails and websites that look similar to your bank, work, and financial institutions. If you suspect a link isn't legitimate, DO NOT click on it, and never type in your username and password on an unfamiliar login screen.

Strengthen Passwords

Random combination of letters, numbers, and special characters, different for each account, works best. Your mother's maiden name and your pet's name aren't hard to find.

You may not remember every store you've shopped at or all the websites you've visited, but thieves and hackers can strike anywhere and at any time. while the above measures can't guarantee protection against identity theft, these are ways to better safeguard your information and concrete steps to take if you believe you are a victim.