The danger of identity theft is pervasive around the world. In the United States alone more than 15 million people have fallen victim to identity theft in 2016.
At the June 14th membership dinner meeting, Michelle Y. McDonald of Sarica Enterprises spoke to the members of EWI about the risk of identity theft. She pointed out several measures that can be taken to protect your personal information and help protect your identity.
Here are a few critical steps to employ:
- Guard your social security number and don’t use it for identification purposes if you can use another form of identification.
- Never divulge your personal information to email requests. This information is never requested via email from legitimate sources.
- Use passwords that are not easy to guess. Use symbols or numbers in place of letters.
- Keep a close watch on your bills, bank account statements, and medical bills. If there are unauthorized charges, you may have been compromised.
- Request a copy of your credit report from each of the three credit monitoring companies. You are entitled to a free report once a year from each of the reporting companies. Look closely for errors or unrecognized accounts.
The bottom line in protecting yourself from identity theft is to be vigilant in guarding your personal information and watchful of suspicious charges on your bills and accounts.