- Buy a sleeve: Purchase a credit card sleeve that blocks RFID transmission (skimming) so there is a lesser chance of having your credit card read while walking down the street. Beware of people who stand close to you or who lean against you on the side where your wallet or purse is held.
- Aluminum foil: Wrap your credit cards and debit cards in aluminum foil blocks RFID transmissions and it is less expensive than buying a credit card sleeve.
- Safety: Don’t reveal your credit card in public which increases the risk for skimming. Take the credit card out of the credit card sleeve or remove the foil when making transactions. You can also put your credit card in your front pocket or sock instead of your wallet. Women can put money and credit cards in your bra or sock. Wrap the credit card in aluminum foil and put in a zip lock bag to prevent moisture from deactivating the magnetic strip. Beware of camera phones.
- Don’t trust caller id. Computers can scramble telephones numbers to make them look legitimate. Skip giving out personal information over the phone unless it is someone you do business with. Ask for their direct number and call back to give your information to ensure it is a real company.
- Virus Protection. Install virus protection on your computer and smartphone that you pay for. Some popular ones for pc’s are Symantec, Norton Utilities and McAfee. Popular ones for smartphones are Symantec, Kaspersky and F-secure. Also use email protection to minimize spoof emails such as Spam Assassin, Barracuda or Mailwasher.
- Cash. Pay for items with cash and use credit cards for emergencies only.
- Debt. Pay down debt and keep the balance at 20% or less of the credit limit. If you notice an unauthorized charge it is easier to detect if you have a few charges on your card. Keep track of your credit card balances at least weekly. Pay balances in full each month.
- GPS. Reduce using GPS on your cell phone. If satellite can track your location so can thieves.
- Online. Only shop at well-known website such as Amazon, eBay or Yahoo.com. Don’t purchase items from third party sellers. Shop online at secure websites that use https or shttp.
- Smartphones. Don’t store personal information on your cell phone or make transactions because you don’t know if you information is secure.
- Downloading. Avoid downloading from your smartphone and your computer. Download only from trusted websites. Avoid using free software or shareware.
- Wallet. Skip carrying your SSN or birth certificate in your wallet. Carry only the credit card you know you will use on a specific day.
- Mail. Leave mail and other personal papers at home and store in a safe place. Check your mailbox regularly, hold mail during vacations.
- Trash. Shred personal information and mix in with other trash.
- Bank. Don’t use an ATM in a secluded area. Create PINs that cannot easily be guessed. Verify all monthly statements with your receipts.
- Credit. Order your credit report at least once a year and verify all information is correct.
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
16 Quick Ways to Prevent Identity Theft
Identity thieves are always thinking of new ways to steal someone's personal information. Some people become victims of identity theft even though their credit card an/or debit card is still in their possession. There are websites that allow thieves to buy hundreds of stolen credit card numbers at a time. Identity theft is a growing crime and is not going away. Many companies and people unintentionally or carelessly expose personal information. There are many things you can do to protect your identity. Here are 16 tips to prevent becoming a victim of identity theft: