The best plan to handle identity theft is to avoid having it happen to you. Consider these tips to prevent identity theft from happening to you:
- Keep your personal identifying information and credit account numbers in a private and secure place. Identity theft is commonly committed by a person you know. Don't make it easy for someone to steal your information by keeping this information out in the open or in a non-secure location.
- Only share your personal identifying information with people or companies you trust. If you are not sure you can trust someone with whom you are considering sharing your personal information, don't share it.
- Avoid posting personal information online or give fraudsters clues to what your personal information might be. Sharing your birthday on Facebook may be fun, but now everyone on the internet knows your birthday, which can be used to impersonate you.
- Password protect all your electronic devices with at least a six-digit password; an alpha-numeric password is even better. Using a biometric passcode (fingerprint) to unlock your device in conjunction with a reasonably complicated password is also a very effective option.
- Avoid passwords that are easy to guess. For example, don't use the name of your dog as a password since you probably have disclosed the name of you dog publicly and on social media.
- Try not to use the same password for every account you have, and change your password periodically.
- Allow two-factor authentication on websites if a company provides you with that option to verify you are who you say you are.
- Use a password manager on your electronic devices if you can afford it (e.g, 1Password, LastPass, Dashlane).
- Encrypt the hard drive on your computer if you have an easy option do so (e.g, Apple's File Vault).
- Be highly suspicious of unfamiliar text messages or emails encouraging you to click on a weblink or encouraging you to enter personal information or passwords. These are very common methods to steal your identity or password information.
- Be highly suspicious of any unsolicited telephone calls you receive from persons claiming they are calling to help repair a problem with your computer or seeking your personal identifying information.
- Shred all documents that have personal or sensitive information on them.
- Use ApplePay, AndroidPay or credit card chip technology instead of swiping your credit card.
- Check your bank and credit card transaction every couple of days to confirm you have made all the transactions posted. Be wary of small amounts that you don't recognize. Fraudsters may start by making a small purchase on your card to test whether you are paying attention or not.
- Check your credit report periodically to confirm all the accounts and personal identifying information on the report is yours.
Do You Need Help?
If you have are a victim of identity theft and have difficulty removing fraudulent accounts from your credit report, removing fraudulent charges from your bank statement, or are having difficulty with debt collector harassment, Gorski Law may be able to help. Gorski Law can remove fraudulent accounts from you credit report or bank statement, stop debt collector harassment and obtain compensation for any harm you have experienced as result of the these companies failure to correct the identity theft that occurred. Initial consultations are always free. Call 215-330-2100 or email the firm to schedule a consultation now.
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