Recent large scale data breaches have many wondering if their identity is really safe in today’s technological environment. In 2016, identity thieves stole $16 billion from 15.4 million consumers.
There are steps you can take safeguard your information and protect yourself from identity theft.
- Shred any documents that have your full name and address before throwing them in the recycling bin or trash can. This includes envelopes, bank statements, bills, ATM receipts, and credit card/loan solicitations.
- Don’t access accounts or make financial transactions – including purchases – using unsecured Wi-Fi (like at the coffee shop or airport).
- Create strong passwords, and change them often. Avoid using the same password on all your accounts.
- Avoid PINs derived from your birthday, address, or other easy-to-guess numbers.
- Use your hand to block the buttons when entering your pin.
- Be sure your anti-virus and other computer software are up-to-date.
- Look out for suspicious emails that request passwords or other personal information. Never click on a link or open an attachment if you aren’t sure of the source.
- Don’t overshare on social media, and make sure your privacy settings are at the highest level.
- Monitor your credit and bank accounts regularly. Report any suspicious activity immediately.
- Also monitor your credit report. You can get a free copy of your report from annualcreditreport.com.
- Place a fraud alert or credit freeze on your credit reports, which makes it difficult for scammers to open new accounts in your name.
If you find that any of your SECU accounts have been compromised, please contact us immediately at 800-879-7328.