Seven tips to prevent identity theft
For more than 60 years, Cardinal Credit Union has been implementing sophisticated safeguards in order to protect members’ personal information. Are you doing all that you can to protect your information? Cardinal Credit Union recommends that consumers work in partnership with institutions to help minimize their risk and the impact of identity fraud. The following are seven recommendations for consumers to follow:
- Be smart on social media – Reviewing your social media security settings to make sure that your profile is only visible to friends and connections is a good place to start in securing social media from fraudsters. Do not accept friend requests from people you do not know.
- Protect online shopping accounts – With fraud moving online, accounts with online shopping sites are valuable targets. Enabling two-factor authentication on sites that have that capability, such as Amazon, can make it significantly more difficult for fraudsters.
- Exercise good password habits – Passwords have remained the de facto first line of defense for most online accounts, which has motivated criminals to compromise them whenever possible. Use strong, unique, regularly updated passwords.
- Place a security freeze – If you are not planning on opening new accounts in the near future, a freeze on your credit report can prevent anyone else from opening one in your name. Credit freezes must be placed with all three credit bureaus and prevents everyone except for existing creditors and certain government agencies from accessing your credit report.
- Sign up for account alerts – A variety of financial service companies provide their customers with the option to receive notifications of suspicious activity. Consumers should also consider signing up for identity protection services which can provide security that is difficult for them to obtain on your own, such as regularly monitoring credit reports for suspicious new accounts and screening for sale of personal information on the dark web.
- Be alert for online transactions – As EMV chip cards makes fraud at physical stores more challenging, fraudsters are moving to target online merchants. Some financial institutions offer alerts for online transactions. These can help quickly detect fraud.
- Seek help as soon as fraud is detected – The quicker a financial institution, credit card issuer or other service provider is notified that fraud has occurred on an account, the sooner these organizations can act to limit the damage. Early notification can also help limit the liability of a victim in some cases, as well as allow more time for law enforcement to catch the fraudsters in the act.