Arm yourself with knowledge and these proactive steps to shield your identity from theft.
Here’s the thing, preventing identity theft is far simpler than dealing with the aftermath and challenges it presents. By staying vigilant, practicing smart online habits, and implementing a few security measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of becoming a victim.
Here are some actions you can take to prevent it:
- Try to reduce access to your personal information, especially non-public information such as your Social Security number, driver’s license number and account numbers.
- Be wary of companies claiming to contact you on behalf of legitimate organizations and don’t share personal information unless you are certain the recipient is legitimate.
- Review account activity regularly to quickly spot suspicious transactions and promptly report them to your financial institutions and credit reporting agencies.
- Create strong and unique passwords and change them frequently. Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to add an extra layer of security to your online accounts.
- Be cautious of public Wi-Fi since these networks can be vulnerable to hackers. Try to only use secure networks.
- Shred documents with personal information when no longer needed.
- Consider getting an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This can help protect you against fraudulent use of your Social Security number to file false tax returns.
- Check your credit reports regularly at annualcreditreport.com.
- Take advantage of the free credit monitoring available to Service members from each of the three credit reporting agencies below. Be sure to review your reports and your minor children’s reports as well.
|Equifax Military Credit Monitoring
|Experian Military Credit Monitoring
|Transunion Active Duty Credit Center