Identity theft is real and here to stay. You need to take proactive measures to protect your financial health and wellbeing. If you are subject of an identity theft, it takes years for you to clean your credit. Here are some basic things you can do to protect your finances.
- Get a free copy of your credit report. You can obtain a copy by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com. It is sponsored by the three main credit reporting agencies; Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. You are eligible for a free report from the web site three times a year. So make it a habit to check your credit report every four months and get a report from one agency at a time.
- Keep your sensitive information separately. These include your driver’s license, credit cards, bank account information, and insurance cards. Do not provide information to any callers if you haven’t initiated the call.
- Protect your PIN. Do not write down them and keep them with your cards. When you use your card and enter the PIN, make sure to cover your key strokes.
- Shred your financial and personal documents. When shredding, use a cross-cut.
- Protect your computer by installing an antivirus and anti-spyware.