Identity theft is sweeping the nation. It seems like hardly a day goes by that there isn’t a news item about some high profile hack on a major company, or a terrifying story about an individual’s financial integrity getting ruined by identity theft. It’s a crime that is becoming increasingly widespread in the digital age, and it can be incredibly debilitating for the victims. Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take to drastically reduce your exposure and keep your data safe.
Use Smart Passwords
When setting your passwords for online sites, make sure to use strong passwords that contain a variety of letters, numbers, or symbols. Make sure it’s nothing as simple as the name of a pet or loved one, as hackers can find out this information and use it to guess your password. Most importantly, do not use the same password for multiple sites. If one site gets hacked, you could end up exposing your passwords to your entire online life.
Check Your Credit Score
It’s important to keep regular tabs on your credit score and your bank account, just to ensure that there’s no suspicious activity that would signify an identity theft. If you see any activity you don’t remember, make sure to contact your bank immediately and have them freeze your account to prevent the identity thief from wreaking further havoc.
Shred Sensitive Documents
Any documents that list any account information or balances should be shredded before getting thrown away. Identity thieves have been known to scour the garbage for sensitive data, and you don't want them to piece together a picture of your financial life.
If you think you may have been the victim of identity theft, I can help. My name is Adam Alexander, and I have been practicing law with a focus in consumer protection for nearly 20 years. Contact my office today for a free consultation, and let’s get your financial health back on track.