McGuire Real Estate
McGuire Real Estate
Ann DeBellevue, McGuire Real EstatePhone: (415) 770-8344
Email: [email protected]

Ways to Prevent Identity Theft

by Ann DeBellevue 06/02/2019

Globally, identity theft has been on the rise in recent times, and it seems it is not slowing down. Succinctly, identity theft means using someone else personal information without their consent, primarily for financial gain. According to Javelin Strategy, the number of identity theft victims in the US is on the rise yearly, and its victims rose to 16.7 million in 2017. To be on the safe side, make sure you always take the following steps:

1. Strengthen your password 

If you are the type that uses common terms like "password," "freedom," "letmein" or "1234abcd", you are putting yourself in danger because hackers can quickly get access into accounts just by typing common passwords. Also, your pets’ name, date of birth and mother's maiden name are not hard to find. You can pump up the strength of your password by using a random combination of special characters, numbers, and letters different for each account.

2. Be cautious when shopping online.

Every Tom, Dick, and Harry can host a website for as cheap as $30. With that in mind, criminals can create a fake online shop with meager prices for in-demand products to lure you to submit your credit card information and personal detail. Be wary of any online retail shop you have not heard of before.

3. Secure your smartphone

For many people, their smartphone houses all their personal information, and you can quickly get access to their social media accounts, banking and credit account, and email. Ensure your phone home screen is password protected, and the password must be strong.

4. Protect your social security number

Make sure you protect your social security number as best as you can since it is the key to all your data. Whenever a corporation or person asks for your SSN (social security number), always ask why it is needed and how protected it'll be. Do not carry your card along with you.

5. Check your credit reports often

Everybody is entitled to one free credit report yearly from each of the three primary credit reporting bureaus. Make it a habit of requesting a credit report every four months so you can check for incorrect or suspicious information throughout the year.

6. Stay alert 

 No matter how careful you may be, you could become a victim. Whenever you go to a public place like a restaurant, do not place your card on a table. A greedy restaurant employee could use his or her phone camera to take a photo of your credit card without you being aware. Inculcate the habit of checking your card regularly because the quicker you detect a problem, the faster you can solve it. 

For more tips on how to prevent identity theft, talk to your finance officer.

About the Author

Ann DeBellevue

Hi, I'm Ann DeBellevue and I'd love to assist you. Whether you're in the research phase at the beginning of your real estate search or you know exactly what you're looking for, you'll benefit from having a real estate professional by your side. I'd be honored to put my real estate experience to work for you.