Money Management

How to Foil Would-Be Identity Thieves

Information is more available than ever before at a more prodigious rate. While this is a good thing in many aspects, it can also cause a lot of trouble for those looking to protect their information. Among the biggest problems with the availability of information according to Entrepreneur.com is the way hackers can take advantage of it. Your personal information is not as secure as it once was, but that does not mean that you have to be the victim of identity theft. You just need to take a more active role in your finances and you will be able to protect yourself. You should make sure to do most of your banking online, monitor your credit constantly, and make sure your passwords are frequently changed. This will help you to enjoy more security for your finances.

Do Your Banking Online

Even though it is handy to have your banking records with you whenever you are looking to balance your checkbook, paper account summaries are not very secure. Anyone can snap a picture of them, remove them from your garbage, or intercept your mail. Doing your banking online allows you to avoid all of these problems. Sign up for paperless banking if it is available and switch banks if it is not. Always make sure you are checking your accounts at home on a secured Wi-Fi network or through a wired connection to ensure your protection.

Monitor Your Credit Constantly

One of the biggest mistakes people make with their finances is never checking their credit reports. There are some items that will fall off of your credit before you ever know it was there. Use one of the credit monitoring services to keep track of your credit. They will constantly check your credit reports and let you know if something new shows up on the report. You will know if you signed up for a new line of credit with a credit card. If you have not, you can take action to shut down the account before it can be used. This will stop you from being liable for someone else stealing your information. If purchases have already been made, it will help you to take action to have the charges reversed.

Change Your Passwords Often

Password security is also highly important. If you are using your wife’s birthday or your dog’s name, stop it. You are making one of the biggest mistakes in terms of passwords. Instead, you should create passwords that have personal meaning for you without making it known to hackers that they have meaning. Think about the lyrics to your favorite song or the first sentence to your favorite poem or book. Take the first letter of every word in these to create your password. It will appear random to a hacker, but it will be easy for you to remember. Make sure to change your passwords often just in case the security of your computer is ever compromised, you will not have to worry about the hacker having access for long.

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