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Finance Fridays: Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

April 30, 2016

Happy Friday! Thank God, it’s finally here. I wait all week for the peace and serenity of the weekend. Living in the woods is calm and peaceful so I enjoy every minute I get outside or watching from inside. What are you doing this fine weekend?

 

With the world being where it’s at right now, we can never be too safe. We are always trying to find ways to protect ourselves from danger and enjoy our lives with minimal damage. I am eager to share with you the top 6 ways we stay safe and protected from identity theft on a daily basis. Getting your identity stolen is easy for others to do and can take years to repair. Follow these steps to avoid identity theft at all costs.

 

 

Read the following few ways to protect yourself from identity theft:

 

1. Leave your Social Security card at home

Never ever carry your Social Security card in your purse or wallet. It’s so easy to get robbed nowadays so it’s best to tuck your card away from harm’s way at home. If you get mugged, you’ll be protected from your SSN being shared or duplicated. Keep a copy in your files for your own records and always remember where you have kept it.

 

2. Don’t carry every credit or debit card you own

Maintain your wallet light. Carry your driver license or ID along with a couple bucks and your most frequently used card. If you have a bunch of cards in your wallet that you don’t use, you run the risk of more damage done if you get held up or drop your wallet somewhere. With only one or two cards on hand, you won’t have to go through so much trouble to call your bank and request a replacement. The more stuff in your wallet, the more you run the risk of losing.

 

3. Change your password frequently

You should know to never give away your passwords already and I am sure you have a secure one set, too. But, did you know you should change your passwords frequently? There are hackers out there and, boy, are they good at what they do. The longer you have the same password, the more chances you have of getting hacked and losing everything. Create combinations of letters, numbers and symbols that mean something to you and only you. Don’t use birthdays or your anniversary. That is way too easy. These days, you can pull that right off of Facebook. And, if your birthday is your password, they can log right into your Facebook, too. Change them every few months in rotation with others you have used before. It keeps your accounts fresh and unhackable (sp?).

 

4. Be vigilant when using unsecured Wi-Fi connections

Every day we walk into new places and connect to random Wi-Fi hot spots or logins. Did you know that if you are checking your bank account on an unsecured connection other people connected to the same Wi-Fi can hack your bank? Yep. Just like you read. Everything floating through the cloud of unsecured connections heads to the path of unsafety, accessible for any and all to see. Yeah, you can text and read emails, but; be aware that anyone with extra techy skills can hack the crap out of your whole phone, tablet or computer, if connected to a mutual Wi-Fi.

 

5. Check your bank statements on a weekly basis

Do you check your statements once a month when they come in the mail? No bueno. This leaves room for surprises and surprises from the bank are never good. Login to your accounts weekly or call the bank to check up on your transactions. Hear or see any charges you don’t recognize from places you have never heard of? Say something! Go to your local branch or call customer service. You can never be too sure and you can never be too protected.

 

6. Double check before you share on social media

Have your birthday, full name and city you reside up on social media? Now anyone can basically find you and where you are. Maybe even at all times. You’ve got to stay safe and protected. Don’t put too much info on Facebook or Twitter. Sharing your location could be one of the worst things you could do. Anyone can see that you are there and anything can happen. Simple questions like, “what is your mother’s maiden name?”, can be answered by stalking your social media profile(s). Don’t give people the pleasure of finding this kind of information on one of your internet handles.

 

 

These are the top ways that I keep myself and my family safe from identity theft. It is important to always have your eyes and ears open. Like Lala always says, “Be aware of your surroundings at all times”. And, if you’ve learned something from reading Essentially Healed, it’s that Lala is always right.

 

XO
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My name is Estefanía but you might know me as chefNia* 

 

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