We all have information that we wouldn‘t want openly broadcast, like social security numbers, credit and debit card numbers, medical history, or bank account information. If even a small amount of this information fell into the wrong hands, it could be used to steal your identity.
Here are some tips to keep your identity your own:
- Secure paperwork. Don‘t leave printed documents laying around that have your personal information on it. When disposing of these papers, use a shredder instead of just throwing it in the trash.
- Secure your devices. Use passcodes on all your computers, tablets, and phones. That way if someone does gain access to one of your devices, they can’t get the data without also having your passcode.
- Secure websites. Speaking of passcodes, use strong and complex passwords or passphrases on the websites that you use, especially those with companies that handle your sensitive information.
- Share securely. If you need to send someone information electronically, ask for options to send it securely. When sending documents, companies you work with can often provide a secure upload link instead of using email. When sending other information, try disguising it instead of sending everything openly. For example, in your email only include the last 3 or 4 digits instead of a full account number.
Remember, email is not a secure form of communication on its own. Phishing attacks are a common occurrence, and all it takes is one unknowing click to compromise an email account. Once that mailbox is compromised, the scammer has access to all the sensitive information that was emailed in or out.
Watch our other videos on phishing and passwords for more ways to keep your information safe from identify thieves.