Follow These Tips to Protect Your Identity

Credit bureau Equifax is offering tips for protecting your identity as we head into the holiday season.

This year’s busy holiday shopping season entails a lot of credit and debit card swipes, vacations and generally frantic activity. It’s a perfect time for identity thieves to flourish.

So, right on the heels of National Cyber Security Awareness month, Equifax put together the following tips for keeping your identity secure – during the holidays and all year long:

  • At school, visit the IT department to ensure that your campus Internet is secure.
  • At work, when filling out forms that require your personal information try to submit the sensitive information handwritten through priority mail, instead of online.
  • Keep birth certificates, Social Security cards, and other personal documents in a lockbox in your home.
  • When disposing of documents, use a diagonal shredder.
  • Take outgoing bills, government forms, or tax forms directly to the post office.
  • Refrain from putting your driver’s license number on your personal checks.
  • Consider writing just your first initial and last name on checks.
  • Always shred credit card receipts at home.
  • Install anti-virus software, anti-malware software, and a firewall on your computer and keep the programs up to date.
  • Use unique passwords that are different for each website.
  • Refrain from including your birth-date or other sensitive information on your social media accounts, even just the month and day.
  • Consider a credit monitoring and identity theft protection product.

These are great tips. We would add that it’s important to change your passwords often – particularly following times when you’ve been swiping in strange places (such as shopping malls).

Stay safe this holiday season, so you can enjoy peace of mind all year.

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