ID theft – six important safety tips to protect consumers

  • Monitor your accounts regularly online at bank and credit card websites. Americans who monitor their accounts online are most likely to uncover suspicious or unauthorized activity.
  • Review your credit information no less than once per year, either for free at or through many financial institution Web sites.
  • Never provide sensitive financial information over the phone or Internet, including Social Security numbers, passwords, PINs or account numbers, unless you placed the call directly to a verified and trusted location, such as the number on back of a credit card or statement.
  • Install and regularly update firewall, browser, anti-spyware, and anti-virus security software on your personal computer, and keep operating systems updated.
  • Move your financial transactions online by turning off paper invoices, statements and checks, including paychecks, and replacing them with electronic versions where offered by employers, banks, utilities or merchants. Avoid mailing checks to pay bills or deposit funds in your banking account. Instead, pay bills online and use remote deposit check imaging services on online banking sites.
  • Reduce unnecessary access to your personal information wherever possible. For example, don’t carry Social Security cards, unused credit cards or checks, and don’t leave sensitive documents out in the open.

Source: Javelin Research.

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