It’s a New Year and with it comes more chances for scammers to try and steal your identity.
To prevent that from happening NBC 7 Responds is here with some helpful tips on ways you can protect your privacy in 2019.
First and most important, freeze your credit with the three major credit bureaus. It’s free...now since the Dodd-Frank bill was changed last May. Doing so will prevent anyone from opening new credit lines, including you. To freeze or unfreeze your accounts call or visit the three websites below:
- Experian - 888-397-3742 - or do it online here.
- TransUnion - 888-909-8872 - or click here.
- Equifax - 800-685-1111 - or visit their website.
Now, that’s that taken care get to bolstering the passwords for your accounts as well as the verification requirements for you to log onto your bank or credit card’s account.
Let’s take care of the latter first. It’s one of those steps that so many people just click off, that being two-step verification on your bank and credit card accounts. Two-step verification requires you enter a PIN or code before you log onto the website. Doing so does add some time but as Eva Velasquez, president of the Identity Theft Resource Center, says, it can save you a month’s worth of headaches later on.
“These robust security protections are in place. It’s up to you to use them,” says Velasquez.
“Instead of going, ‘nine seconds, I’m never going to get that back,’ I want people to think about the protection that comes with it, and they won’t have to spend hours, days, months cleaning up an identity theft issue.”
You can set up two-step verification on each account’s website.
Last but not least, make each password count. Use unique passwords for each account that you have, whether they are your financial websites or not. This is because online scammers will target the easy sites first and then try them on the others.
“Every account should have a unique password,” says Velasquez. “It’s ok if you need to write them down if you have to.”