By, State Treasurer Kelly Schmidt
Over 3 million identity theft and fraud reports were recorded in 2018! As we near “prime time,” the holiday shopping season, for identity theft here are some friendly reminders to keep your financial information SECURE whether you shop online or your local retail store.
- Do not carry your Social Security card with you, and do not leave it stored on paperwork or laptop. Keep it at home in a safe place. Only give your SSN as necessary. Thieves can use this information to do a great deal of damage.
- Review receipts with your account statements and watch for unauthorized transactions. A first credit/debit card attempt is typically for a small amount which goes undetected.
- Shred receipts you no longer need, credit card offers you receive in the mail, and expired credit cards. This will prevent thieves from gaining access to your information as they dig through trash and/or mail.
- At the checkout, keep the keypad protected while you key in your PIN. The person behind you in line or at the ATM may be paying close attention.
- When purchasing online, be sure to double-check for the “lock” icon on the status bar of your internet browser. When you see the lock, you know your information will be transmitted safely.
- Create complex passwords that are not easy to guess. Create a password that uses a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. It’s also wise to change your passwords on a regular basis. Avoid having one universal password for all of your major accounts…if your password is hacked, all of your accounts are in jeopardy.
Anyone can be a target from your small children to seniors - do your research for best practices in keeping your identity SAFE.