6 Ways To Protect Your Family From Identity Theft
Identity theft is a rampant problem in today’s society. Contrary to what you may think, modern identity theft doesn’t pertain to someone stealing your name to impersonate you.
Instead, criminals may access your personal information, such as your social security number, to make unauthorized purchases or commit fraud. Unfortunately, everyone, including children, could fall victim. As such, it is vital to take precautions to ensure your family’s protection.
Here are six ways to protect your family from identity theft and ensure your loved ones do not fall victim to this heinous crime.
Use a virtual PO box for your mail
Identity theft isn’t always as complicated as hacking your personal information from websites or your other information carriers. The malicious individuals could access your personal information from your utility bills, credit card statements, and other forms delivered to your mail.
While ensuring you collect your mail daily is a great way to secure your information from unauthorized parties, there is a better way. You could register a virtual PO Box address to protect your privacy by managing your mail online or have it delivered to a chosen location at your convenience.
Install a security freeze on credit files
A great way to prevent people from accessing your personal information is by putting a security freeze on your credit file. A security freeze ensures that only you and limited personnel can access your credit files.
Remember, creditors typically use credit files as a basis for offering credit. Thus, security freezes prevent identity thieves from opening accounts and making purchases in your name. Ensure every family member has security freezes on their reports to warn away fraud.
Destroy documents with personal information
After viewing and sorting out your utility bills, bank and credit card statements, or other documents, we often throw them out, forgetting they contain our personal information. While it may seem unlikely, identity thieves dumpster-dive and access the documents. Therefore, it is best to shred or destroy the copies before throwing them away.
Be creative with your passwords
Passwords are essential to creating a secure network free from unauthorized interference. If you’d like to prevent identity thieves from accessing your information, a solid uncrackable password could go a long way in securing you from fraudsters.
Avoid using obvious phrases and including information about your identity to keep you safe from hackers.
Teach children secure online behavior
Parents often worry about what their children consume online and put more effort into ensuring safe online learning. However, while monitoring your child’s online activities is essential, educating them on what information not to share online is equally important.
Caution your children against sharing personal information online to prevent them from falling prey to online scammers and identity thieves.
Monitor credit and bank statements
All your credit activities, including unauthorized ones, are reflected in your statements. Consequently, one of the best ways to prevent identity theft is to review your bank and credit statements often to uncover irregular activities.
Once you notice transactions in which you or your family members played no part, you can flag them or request your financial institution to intervene and prevent identity theft.
With the rise in identity thieves, you and your family are at a considerable risk of having your accounts infiltrated. The malicious thieves could clean your accounts or leave you in significant debt. Luckily, you can mitigate your family’s exposure to identity theft through the precautions mentioned above.