Computers are a huge part of everyday lives and a personal information stored on them is a goldmine to identity thieves. Threats like ransomware (which literally holds a computer hostage until it’s paid) or WiFi hacking can cause serious damage to someone’s identity. Your technology is a gateway to your identity, and keeping them secure is more important than ever.
Social media is rife with identity threats, such as scams, oversharing and reputation damage. In order to practice good identity hygiene, constantly be aware of what is being shared and what kind of information those posts and pictures give away to strangers.
Believe it or not, dumpster diving is still a method identity thieves use to get personal information. Your Health insurance statement of benefits may alert someone that your identity was used to obtain medical services or prescriptions, known as medical identity theft.
More than 40 percent of Americans have experienced fraudulent credit card charges. With the increase of online shopping and banking, fraudulent card use shifted in 2016 from stolen or counterfeit cards being used in-person to the account numbers being used remotely. This means it is more important than ever to regularly check statements. While your card may be in your wallet, that doesn’t mean it isn’t being used by a criminal somewhere.
Checking your credit report regularly helps to ensure that someone else isn’t using your name to open credit cards, apply for loans, or start new utility services and leaving you to foot the bill. Fraud that impacts your credit report can decimate your credit and good standing, making future financial decisions even more complicated and costly.
We need to manage our identities just as we would other aspects of our physical, financial and emotional health. Identity hygiene refers to ongoing proactive maintenance that individuals, families and organizations take to ensure that their sensitive information remains as safe as possible.