Identity theft is all around. You hear about it in the news and from friends. It can be devastating if not caught early, and you could end up in thousands of pounds in debt and believed liable for that money. It’s time to protect yourself from this type of theft. Here are six top tips to prevent your identity from being stolen.
You receive an email from your bank telling you your account has been suspended due to suspicious activity. The only way to activate it is to click on the link in the email and enter your bank details to prove you are who you say you are. Stop right there!
Your bank would never send this type of email. You need to go straight to your bank’s website and log in from there, or go in to speak to them if you’re really worried. Forward all emails to your bank too, as they can handle it from there.
Another trick is for someone to phone pretending to be from your bank. You’re even encouraged to phone your bank to make sure the identity is real. However, these scammers don’t actually hang up, so they can intercept your call.
You end up giving them your card details and pin number. Stop right there! Your bank will never ever ask for these details. Your details are yours to keep secret. Banks have passwords and only ask for certain digits, and will change the digits they ask for each time.
Keep the details you share to a minimum. It’s so easy to get the important information now through social media.
Your Facebook profile likely has your whole date of birth and your full name. Stop sharing so much online. It’s not safe and it never will be to share this type of information! Think about the type of information around, and just how it can be used to steal your identity.
Before making a payment online, check that the website is encrypted and secure. You can tell by looking in the bottom right hand corner.
You should see a closed padlock. You can also check the address bar, and it should say “https://” instead of “http://”. If a website isn’t secure, don’t send your details. Anybody could hack them.
Using your date of birth or your mother’s maiden name is not a difficult password. You need to use a series of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters.
These are harder for software to go through and crack, so will keep more of your confidential details confidential.
It’s scary the amount of people who will go through trash to get bank statements and confidential documents. It’s really important to destroy all your paperwork, preferably with a shredder.
Someone has to be really desperate to go through all that paperwork to then stick it together to get your details.