What You Should Know
Recent news surrounding data breaches has caused consumers to wonder more and more about safeguarding their personal identifying information. Identity theft can occur when someone’s information is stolen — both physically and online.
The key to avoiding becoming a victim of identity theft is to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself. Here are a few tips to help you along the way:
- Monitor your financial accounts and transactions for fraudulent activity; Take advantage of Online Banking.
- Request a copy of your credit report each year from annualcreditreport.com. Or reach out to the major credit reporting agencies:
- Never offer personal or account information over the phone without verifying the caller’s identity or respond to an email asking for confidential information.
- Invest in a credit monitoring service
- Balance your checkbook and verify all account and credit card statements as soon as they arrive.
- Keep all checks, credit and debit cards in a safe place.
- Don’t write your personal identification number (PIN) on your credit or debit cards, or leave them in your wallet for thieves to find.
- Invest in a personal shredder. This is your first line of defense. Shred checking and credit card statements, cancelled checks, pre-approved credit card offers, or anything with your personal information on it before disposal.
- Consider paying all of your bills electronically with online bill pay.
- Notify your financial institution immediately if you notice potentially fraudulent activity on your account.
Your identity is one of the most valuable possessions you own. You owe it to yourself to protect it. For more information, click here.