Wednesday, 2 January 2013

2013 Personal Security Tips Against Identity Theft

Last year was a big year for identity theft.
From data breaches to new technology, identity thieves were quite active and show no signs of slowing down in 2013.
So why not make your new year’s resolution about protecting yourself from identity theft?
Here are some great examples of resolutions you can make to make sure your 2013 isn’t marred by a nasty case of identity theft.
Clear out your wallet: Many people carry items in their purse or wallet that leave them vulnerable to identity theft. Take the time to remove your important ID cards that you dont need to have with you all the time, your cheque book, passport, extra credit cards, and anything else with personal identifying information.
If you want to take this one step further, make an inventory of what is still left in your wallet so that if it is stolen you will easily be able to protect yourself from identity theft.
Give your computer a fresh start: There are all kinds of nasty viruses out there which identity thieves use to commit their crimes. The best line of defense against these crooks is to be sure that you have an up-to-date antivirus installed on your computer.
Make sure all of the recommended patches are also updated and that your wireless network has a good strong password.
Change your passwords: One of the best lines of defense against having an account takeover is a strong password. Take this fresh opportunity to change your old passwords and create stronger ones. Do not use words that can be found in the dictionary.
Hackers can run a program that goes through the entire dictionary very quickly and crack any password which can be found in the dictionary. Use numbers, upper and lower case letters, punctuation in your passwords. Don’t forget that the longer the password, the harder it is to crack.
Create different passwords on each of your accounts.
If you have trouble remembering all of these passwords you can look into using a password manager.
Monitor your credit reports: Should you become a victim of identity theft, one of the best ways to find out is by monitoring your credit reports. There are different credit reporting agencies and consumers can receive one report from each, every year.
If you stagger your free accounts and pull one every four months, you can monitor your credit for free.
Shred Everything: Invoices, receipts, bills, bank statements, account updates, utility bills, anything with your personal account infomation.
If you don't need them, don't through it in the garbage - invest in a quality shredder from Staples or Grand and Toy, and dispose of your shredded paper carefully.
So this year, give it a try and protect yourself from identity theft and have a wonderful new year.
From The Renwick Group -