The Real Deal: Protecting Your Identity from Theft

Person stealing identities online

Securing your identity is an overlooked concern for most people. Simple, but effective, steps can be taken to protect your identity from would-be thieves. Here are some tips to safeguard your identity:

Keep Passwords Secret

One of the biggest blunders anyone can make is not keeping their passwords secure. Under no circumstances should you give your password to anyone else other than your duly appointed representative. If possible, always use a password that combines alphanumeric characters; that is, use passwords that combine letters and numbers. Writing down your password is not recommended, but if you do so, keep it in a very safe place where only you have access to it.

Beware of Phishing Scam

Social media and email phishing scams are one of the ways that identity thieves steal your vital personal information. A legitimate institution will never ask for your bank details, passwords, social security number, and other sensitive information over email, and especially not over social media accounts. Experts at Patriot Bank suggest that personal information should only be shared if you are 100% sure of the authenticity of the website you are using and only if it’s relevant to your needs. Do NOT share personal information if you were not first to initiate contact.

Always Shred Confidential Documents

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. In this case, paper documents are an identity thief’s gold. Paper documents that contain sensitive information like bills and outdated bank statements should be discarded properly by shredding, before being disposed of in the trash. In this way, identity thieves will have a harder time piecing together your personal information if they manage to acquire your garbage.

Being aware of scams and basic identity protection you can do to avoid such ploys can make identity theft that much harder for thieves. Whether it’s protecting your passwords or your documents, securing your identity is essential in maintaining your finances, and your online information.