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6 Identity Theft Prevention Tips

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A hand shape created out of the words "Stop Identity Theft"Protecting your identity should always be a top priority. Scammers always increase their efforts over the holidays. Although COVID-19 may keep you out of brick and mortar stores this year, your identity can be stolen in other ways. In this blog, we offer six strategies for keeping your personal information secure.

1. Check your Credit

Each of the three major credit reporting agencies offer a free annual credit report. If you haven’t reviewed your credit report this year, consider doing so now. Request your report now from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, review it for discrepancies, and immediately report any fraud or mistakes you find.

2. Secure Your WiFi

Without the right security, your WiFi network can be hacked. Make sure your router is protected with a firewall, WPA-2 encryption, and a strong password.

3. Hang Up the Phone

COVID-19 and the election has brought a swath of phone fraud to consumers. Never share personal information over the phone. If you do not recognize the number, reject the call or hang up the phone as soon as you realize it’s a scam call. Report scam text messages to your phone service provider.

4. Use a Residential Shredding Service

The adage, “One person’s trash is another’s treasure,” has never been more true. Curbside trash and recycling bins are vulnerable to dumpster divers. Use a residential shredding service to make sure your personal information stays out of the wrong hands.

5. Secure Your Online Data

Online shopping has never been more popular, and online identity theft has never been more widespread. Make sure you are buying from legitimate sellers on websites with SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) technology. Look for the padlock symbol and “HTTPS” in your browser’s address bar.

6. Watch Your Mail

Mail fraud is on the rise. Use a lockable mailbox and check it daily. Do not send money, utility payments, or credit card payments from an unsecure personal mailbox. Instead, drop them in an official USPS mailbox or at the post office.

If someone steals your identity, contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online or by phone. An FTC representative will create an identity theft affidavit to help you dispute fraudulent accounts and report the crime to local authorities.

For more identity theft prevention tips, please call us at 610-692-TEAR(8327) or complete the form on this page.

Wiggins Shredding serves Pennsylvania and the Tri-State Area of Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey with secure shredding and destruction services. We are your trusted, locally-owned paper shredding resource!

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