As online shopping and mobile phone use keep growing, so does identity theft. Hackers constantly search for ways to steal information both online and offline. It's important to take action and protect your identity. But with so many opportunities for identity thieves to steal your information, how can you guard yourself against their tactics? The good news is that you can easily implement a series of best practices to protect your identity. Check out these helpful tips to protect yourself from identity theft.
Take advantage of identity theft protection services
Identity theft protection services go beyond credit monitoring to help you keep your identity safe. They can help you quickly identify changes to your credit report, as well as to other sensitive information that identity thieves usually target. For instance, identity theft protection services can notify you if someone opens a credit card account or a payday loan in your name or is selling your personal information on a black market site. These services can also include insurance policies and virus protection and resolution services to help you prevent identity theft, cover financial losses due to identity theft, or help address a related issue immediately.
Use strong passwords and multi-step authentication
Protection against hackers often means creating strong passwords. That means you'll need to go beyond choosing your birthdate or adding in a mix of numbers and letters as your password. Create long passwords that include capital and lowercase letters, and mix characters and numbers. Change them frequently, such as every 90 days, and memorize them or use a secure password manager to organize them rather than saving them on your computer. Also, use multi-step authentication when available, such as requiring a text or email code to log into your account.
Set up notifications
Notifications help you know if someone has logged into your account or is using your username from a different computer or location. It's ideal to take advantage of notification features to protect your identity and set it up for your mobile phone or home computer. Notifications are especially helpful when you're banking online with your home computer or mobile phone. For instance, you can set up text alerts when using Popular Direct, so you know when a specific amount is withdrawn from your account. It's a simple step that is easy to overlook but adds an important value when something suspicious occurs on your account.
Don't share everything
Identity thieves can guess your passwords based on what you're sharing online, so don't get in the habit of oversharing. You also have to know when to trust your instincts. Hang up on unsolicited sales robocalls, which are illegal, and do not give out your information to people claiming to be a representative of your bank.
Leverage different usernames
Identity thieves are clever and know that you're likely using the same login information across different profiles and accounts, including your bank accounts and social media profiles. Using the same username and password for each account or profile is never a good idea. Instead, stay one step ahead of them and switch it up by using different usernames and passwords across different sites. It'll help prevent hackers from figuring out your personal information to break into more sensitive financial accounts.
Turning a blind eye to protecting your identity won't keep hackers away. Protect yourself by putting these best practices into place to have peace of mind.
The information mentioned in this article is for informational purposes only, is intended to provide general guidance and does not constitute legal or tax advice. Each person’s situation is unique and may materially differ from the information provided herein. You should seek the advice of a financial professional, tax consultant and/or legal counsel to address your specific needs before any financial or other commitments regarding the issues related to your situation are made. Popular Bank does not make any representations or warranties as to the content contained herein and disclaims any and all liability resulting from any use of or reliance on such content.