How to prevent identity theft in 2022

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Identity theft is an invisible threat that many people don’t realize they’re victims of until it’s too late. Because identity theft can have an impact car loan applications we thought it was a good idea to highlight the risks and how to prevent identity theft.

Lenders are well aware of the risks and costs of identity theft and will work with you to make up for any losses. However, prevention is always better than cure, and that is exactly what this post is about.

Our team has this information to offer.

How identity theft happens

Identity theft happens in a couple of ways, digital and physical. Here are some common ways it can happen.

Phishing: It involves fake emails pretending to be from the bank or credit card company. They will often include links and urgent messages such as “act fast your account password has been lost” or “there is unauthorized activity on your account and we need to verify your identity”.

The easiest way to avoid this is to never click on links in emails even if they seem legitimate. If you believe the email may be real, please call the bank or company using their posted customer service number. If it’s real, they’ll verify it.

Hacking and Malware: Device hacking and malware aren’t as common as the media would have you believe, but they pose a threat. Devices using open WiFi can fall prey to the man in the center attacks and the malware can be installed on any device to log keystrokes, collect personal data, and report them.

You can avoid all of this by running a software firewall on each device, using antivirus and a malware scanner, and running weekly scans. If you use public Wi-Fi in cafés and airports, always use a VPN to encrypt your traffic.

Dumpster diving

This kind of dumpster diving collects your old bank statements, official documents and any other identifiable information that you throw in the trash. They can be used in conjunction with other forms of false or stolen identities to apply for credit cards, loans, open bank accounts, secure phone contracts, and even car rentals.

To avoid this, destroy or burn all identifiable documents. That way, there’s nothing the thief can use against you.

Physical theft

Physical theft can include mugging, home invasion, or ATM skimming. Each is serious and can have far-reaching consequences other than identity theft. ATM skimming is common in cities and can steal your card details and your PIN number at the same time.

To prevent identity theft in this way, always be aware of where you are and protect yourself and your property. To avoid ATM skimming, check any ATM you use for small cameras aimed at the keyboard and anything that looks out of place above the card slot. Keep an eye out for people loitering too who look out of place.

More tips on how to prevent identity theft

Oversharing is not thoughtful

Oversharing is not only a faux pas, it can actually be dangerous. People can say they are anyone online and you never really know who you are talking to.

Don’t avoid interacting online, just be aware of who you’re talking to and that they’re not actually who they say they are.

Make friends, be social and enjoy the internet. Only keep identifiable information to yourself as much as possible.

Learn to love two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication, 2FA, is when you need to add an SMS code or use an authenticator app in addition to your username and password. While they’re an extra step to accessing an account, they’re also very effective protection.

The use of 2FA is rapidly increasing

Even if a scammer steals your username and password, without access to your phone or authenticator, they won’t be able to access your account.

We recommend using 2FA on all accounts that support it.

Monitor your credit report

You can check your credit report once a year, free of charge by the credit bureau, and we recommend that you do so. Take them to Transunion or Equifax. Some financial products and credit card protection services offer free credit that you can also use.

If you don’t check your report, often the first sign of identity theft will be a demand letter from a creditor. Monitor your report and you may spot it sooner.

If you see anything suspicious, report it to the credit bureau and ask them to put a block your account while you investigate. This will stop any further credit applications in your name and prevent identity theft.

I hope you now know a little more about how to prevent identity theft. Pay attention to all of the above and greatly minimize the risks of identity theft. There is no such thing as full protection, but this is as good as it gets right now!

For those of you who know you have a tough credit situation, please Visit Dixie Auto Loans where we have a team of credit specialists ready to help you get approved for a car loan today!

This article was published by: Michelle Paletta by title: How to prevent identity theft in 2022

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