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Are you doing these things to prevent identity theft or fraud?

As the end of the year wraps up, you’ll want to think about improvements you can make to how you protect your information. You don’t necessarily need to be tech-savvy to do this. Rather, implementing a few practices into your routine for the new year can save you from identity theft or fraud.

Here are some things you can do to protect your identity:

  • Shred important documents.
  • Review your bank and credit card transactions every month.
  • Store personal documents in a safe place such as a private office in your home.
  • Update your computer operating system.
  • Update your security, virus, and spyware software.
  • Check your credit report – You can do this once a year for free using Equifax, Trans Union, etc.
  • Protect your social security number – Do not carry your social security card with you in public. Be wary of giving your full social security number out if asked over the phone or online unless it is asked for by your Storen Financial tax preparer.
  • Avoid answering unknown phone calls, emails, or texts. Never click on links sent to you unless you’re sure it’s a safe link.
  • Be cautious of credit card skimmers – They can snatch data off a card’s magnetic stripe and clone it, so always pay close attention to the devices you’re using your card with.
  • Consider using wallets and bags with RFID-blocking protection.
  • Don’t send private documents over email – To learn more, read our blog here (Link).
  • Use two-step verification – This requires a site to email or text you if you log into an account from a new location.
  • Create and update secure passwords (see below).

Creating strong passwords:

  • Keep your personal info safe and secure, so no one can access these passwords easily.
  • To strengthen your password, use numbers, upper and lower case letters, and symbols.
  • Consider using a password that is at least twelve characters long.
  • Do not include information that someone might easily guess, such as your nickname, initials, birthdays, common phrases, last 4 of social security number, etc.
  • Do not reuse passwords that you’ve used with other accounts.
  • Consider using password management software that keeps all your passwords in one place.

At Storen Financial, we are committed to your security, which is why we champion these practices to our employees and clients. For your peace of mind, we also use eFileCabinet, our client portal where you can upload your financial documents with the knowledge that we will safeguard your personal information. Click here to learn more about eFileCabinet.

 

Want to learn more?

Here are a few more resources to help answer your questions…
The Top Ten Ways to Protect Your Identity – United Way
The Eleven Best Ways to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft – American Family Insurance
Create a Strong Password & a More Secure Account – Google Account Help

 

Blog by Amy White – Technology Director

Learn more about Amy and the rest of the Storen Financial team here.