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What Are Good Ways To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft?

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By Author: Lisa
Total Articles: 8
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So how can you keep your Social Security number safe? Here are a few tips:

- Don't carry your Social Security card around, or give it out to anyone you don’t know or trust.
- Don't save it as a contact on your phone
- Don't post it on social media.
- Shred any documents with your Social Security number before throwing them away.

Beware of Phishing Emails and Customer Supports Scams
Phishing emails are one of the most common ways that scammers try to steal your information. They usually look like they're from a legitimate company, but they're not. Be careful if you get an email asking you to click on a link or provide information.

Don't do it! Legitimate companies will never ask for this kind of information via email.

Another common scam is when someone calls pretending to be from a customer support department. Again, just like the story above, do not give out your sensitive information to anyone who claims to work in your bank. If you need to rectify any issue with your bank account, the best bet is to visit your bank or reach them through verified emails and social media ...
... accounts.

Watch What you Post Online
You might not think of it as a big deal, but the things you post online can be used to steal your identity. For example, if you post your full name, address, and phone number, that's all a thief needs to start stealing your identity.

In some cases, scammers could organize a fake giveaway, scholarship, or business grant, asking for your account details/social security numbers to get credited. In turn, they steal your details and either uses them to steal your money or do other fraudulent activities.

To be safe, don't post anything that you wouldn't want a thief to see. And be especially careful about giving out your personal information. Don't give out your sensitive personal information online unless you're absolutely sure you can trust the person, site, or company.

Guard Your Trash and Shred Sensitive Documents
So you know that you should never give out your Social Security number or credit card information unless you absolutely have to, but what else can you do to prevent identity theft?

One thing is to be vigilant about your trash.
That means taking your garbage out regularly and keeping an eye on what you throw into it. If you see any documents with personal information, such as your name, address, or social security number, be sure to shred them before throwing them away.

Use Strong Password Combinations
Take a lesson from the pros and create strong password combinations. We're talking about a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. The longer and more complicated, the better.

And don't use the same password for all your accounts. That way, if one account is compromised, the rest of your accounts are still safe.

Using one password for all your accounts is just asking for trouble. If someone gets their hands on one of your passwords, they can access all your accounts. Sounds scary, right?

It's also advisable to change your passwords regularly. At least every few months. That way, if someone does get their hands on them, they won't be able to use them for long.

Always Use a Secure Browser
Whether you are shopping online, or just surfing the web, always make sure you're using a secure browser. Always look out for the padlock icon in the address bar, and make sure the website begins with HTTPS://. This indicates that the site has been verified and is safe to use. Meaning that your information is encrypted and can't be accessed by anyone trying to hack into it.

The best way to do this is to use a browser like Firefox or Chrome, which have built-in security features. And don't forget to update your software regularly, as new security updates are constantly released.

Beware of Public WiFi
Free things are not always free, especially when it comes to unsecured hotspot connections and public wifi. Public Wifi connections are not secure, as anyone can access what you share online.

A scammer can even get into your device and steal your information. To be safe, always use secure internet connections and mind what you share while using public Wifi.

And finally, make sure to keep your computer and mobile devices secure. Install reliable antivirus software and make sure to keep your software updated.


More About the Author

Transfy is a Fintech startup on a mission to connect individuals and businesses across Africa financially. This is by building a financial infrastructure that enables them to seamlessly and securely send money within Africa and out of Africa at rates that are highly competitive.

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