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Even if you’ve never had your identity stolen, there’s a good chance you know someone who has. According to Proofpoint, over 33 percent of Americans have experienced identity theft. It’s a crime that knows no boundaries: people of every age, from children to seniors, are vulnerable. In this blog, we share several tips for protecting you and your family’s privacy.
1. Use Discretion when Posting Online
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media sites offer a treasure trove of public information. Posting personal details puts you and your family at risk of identity theft. Set security settings on your accounts to private and avoid sharing names, birthdays, and other sensitive information.
2. Don’t Share Your Child’s Social Security Number
Increasingly, children are having their social security numbers stolen. Young victims only discover their identity has been compromised when they reach adulthood. Whenever possible, avoid sharing your child’s social security number.
3. Use a Residential Shredding Service
Curbside trash and recycling bins filled with discarded documents, credit card offers, and billing statements are easy targets for identity thieves. Anyone can reach in and steal a credit card statement, billing statement, or other paperwork containing personally identifiable information (PII). A drop-off shredding service eliminates this risk. Take your documents to a convenient, secure shredding location where background-screened professionals will help you unload your car, shred your documents right there on site, and give you a Certificate of Destruction to take home.
4. Step Up Security on Family Devices
Nowadays, it’s common for every member of the family to have their own personal device. Make sure all laptops, smartphones and tablets in your home are updated with current firewall, anti-virus, and anti-malware protection. Your home WiFi network should be encrypted and protected with a strong password.
5. Beware of Porch Pirates
Mail theft is on the rise. Besides stealing packages from porches, thieves take mail out of unlocked mailboxes. Lock your mailbox, know your mail carrier’s delivery schedule, and empty your mail as soon as it arrives. Always mail bill payments and other sensitive letters at the post office.
6. Check Your Credit Statements
Regularly monitoring your credit is one of the most effective ways to thwart identity theft. Each member of your family is entitled to a free annual credit report. Check each family member’s credit report for discrepancies and immediately report any suspicious activity.
Follow these tips to make sure you and your family’s personal information stays secure.
CI Information Management services Tri-Cities, the Yakima Valley, Walla Walla, Hermiston, OR, Moses Lake, Wenatchee, and nearly everywhere in between. To learn more about our records and information management solutions, give us a call at 509-586-6090 or complete the form on this page.