Protect Yourself and Your Family against Identity Theft
If you shop online or share your information on social media it is a good idea to take steps to help protect your personal information. We’ve got a great checklist, called ‘PROTECT' that you can follow to help protect yourself and your family from identity theft.
- Reduce the risk of postal fraud by installing a secure mailbox.
- Arrange for your mail to be held at the post office whenever you go away. If you are moving house, arrange for your mail to be forwarded and let companies such as banks, credit card and utility companies know your new address.
- After you've read important documents and no longer need them, shred them before throwing them out.
- Check your bank accounts each month and investigate any suspicious activity, such as small payments to unknown companies or people.
- Don’t reveal passwords and personal identification information online, such as your birth date, full name, mother's maiden name or your phone number.
- If you use social media sites like Facebook, make sure your privacy and security settings are updated so only ‘friends’ can access your page.
- Regularly check your credit file and register for Equifax’s Credit Alert service, which notifies you when certain changes are made to your credit file.
- Consider Equifax ID Basic, which includes Identity Watch, our cycber monitoring service. If your personal information is found to be compromised online you will be alerted.
- Shred paperwork containing personal information or account details, including bank and credit card statements, phone and energy bills.
- Always use secure sites when paying for purchases or transferring money online.
- Install security software and keep it updated to protect your computer from hackers, scammers and viruses.
- Never open any attachments from unreliable sources, or unusual messages or files from people you don’t know.
- Immediately inform your credit providers if you notice any suspicious activity in your financial accounts.
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It can happen to anyone. Your information could be stolen online, you could lose your wallet or a company you trust could have a data breach. How ever it may happen, you need to act fast.