On May 6, 2019, we unveiled an Identity Theft Protection Guide, offering practical steps to safeguard your personal information. This guide delves into various protective measures, allowing you to choose the most suitable options for your circumstances.
Given the prevalence of hacking and data breaches, which have compromised the personal information of many Americans, it’s crucial to protect your sensitive data to maintain your credit security. While predicting such incidents is challenging, there are proactive measures you can take to defend your information both preemptively and in the aftermath of a breach. This guide will assist you in navigating your options.
Five Strategies to Prevent Identity Theft:
- Implement a Security Freeze: This prevents new creditors from accessing your credit report and deters identity thieves from opening new accounts in your name. The freeze remains until you choose to remove it, offering a robust barrier against fraud.
- Regularly Review Your Financial Statements: Monitoring your bank and credit card statements helps identify any unauthorized transactions, allowing you to promptly notify your bank.
- Examine Your Credit Reports: Regular checks for inaccuracies in your credit reports are advisable. With three major credit bureaus, you can review one report every four months to ensure accuracy, disputing any errors directly with the bureau.
- Set Up a Fraud Alert: Adding a fraud alert to your credit report provides an additional security layer, especially beneficial if you have previously been a victim of identity theft.
- Use Identity and Credit Monitoring Services: These services keep an eye on your credit reports on your behalf, alerting you to any changes, which can help catch identity theft early.
Promote Awareness with Our Identity Theft Placemat:
Engaging in discussions about identity theft with friends, family, and community members is another effective preventive measure. We’re introducing an educational placemat focused on identity theft, perfect for use in senior centers, meal sites, and other community gathering spots. Featuring a crossword puzzle to spark conversation, this placemat is part of our fraud and scam prevention series. It’s designed for group discussions and is a complementary tool with our Identity Theft Protection Guide for those needing assistance with the crossword.
The guide and placemats are available for download or bulk order, providing a valuable resource for community education on identity theft. Should you suspect or fall victim to identity theft, immediate actions include reporting to IdentityTheft.gov to obtain a recovery plan.
By taking these steps and utilizing available resources, you can significantly enhance your protection against identity theft.
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