In our connected world, every single one of us is at risk of having our identity stolen. Although there is no such thing as 0 risk when it comes to having your identity stolen, there are a few steps you can take to ensure you are safer than most when it comes to identity theft.
- According to the FTC, almost 400,000 Americans had their identity stolen in 2016.
- There were over 1.2 million claims of fraud filed with the FTC in 2016.
- Overall trends show an increase in identity theft and fraud complaints over the last 10 years.
Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself against identity theft:
This may seem basic but its one of the main ways identity thieves steal your information. Be sure to never use the same password twice for any website, app, or other accounts you have. Every month, change your passwords and use complex characters like: @,#,$,%, and * to make your password harder to break. This also goes for your home Wi-Fi network.
Check Your Accounts and Credit
Banks and other financial institutions send you statements on a monthly basis for a reason. Look at all your activity on a monthly or bi-weekly basis to ensure you recognize all the transactions. You should also be checking your credit report on a regular basis as well. Remember, you are entitled to a free credit report once per year by law. You can see your free government-mandated credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com.
Most online websites and applications will allow their users to setup Two-Factor authentication. Typically, if you log into a different computer than usual, the website or service will send a text with a code you input from your phone to ensure it’s you.
Get an Antivirus Program
Hackers and thieves can use complicated methods and tricks to hack into your computer and steal your private and personal information. There are many services that will provide you with an Antivirus program for free with a simple online search.
If You Need a Car with Damaged Credit
There’s no question that becoming a victim of identity theft poses many challenges, including that it makes it harder to get a loan or finance a car. CrediReady offers one of the largest databases that connects dealerships, lenders, and buyers in all credit situations.
Take a few moments to fill out our free and confidential loan search form online and we will
match you with a dealership in your local area that can meet your auto financing needs.