Unfortunately recent news has identity theft at the top of all of our minds, again. We have researched a bit more on the topic and have the following suggestionsCheck your credit report at least 3 times a year at annualcreditreport.com.
- Consider signing up for a credit monitoring service. The service should monitor all three credit bureaus, should notify you immediately of anything suspicious. The cost should be between $10-25 a month depending on the coverage you would like. We found this article to be helpful in deciding which service to use. https://www.thesimpledollar.com/best-credit-monitoring-service/
- Consider placing a freeze on your credit, this will require anyone who is trying to open accounts in your name (yourself included) to have your PIN or password to allow access. This costs between $5-10 and needs to be done with each credit agency. More information on this can be found here https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs#what
- Shred everything and consider using a ‘Security Micro Cut Shredder.’
- Use your credit card and not your debit card whenever you can. By federal statute, you have no liability if someone makes fraudulent charges on your credit card.
- Check your bank and credit card statements each month for any illegitimate charges.
- Be careful who you do business with online and have at least two passwords –one for banking/investments and another for shopping. This will keep your banking and investments passwords safer if there is another retail breach. It is important to change your passwords frequently.
- Activate 2-factor authentication on accounts that will send you a text when you log in on an unauthorized device.
A little investment of time and vigilance over your financial affairs can reap great returns by saving you money and significant headaches.
Please contact us with questions or concerns!