7 Top Tips for an Identity Protection Plan

Behave proactively to protect yourself from financial fraud. By defending your private information, everyday activities will not be as vulnerable to identity theft. Here are 7 Top Tips for an Identity Protection Plan.

1) Update, update, update. We all know it’s important to keep our computer and antivirus software up to date, but with the increasing use of mobile devices, shoppers should consider antivirus software for their mobile device. This adds yet another layer of protection as you make mobile purchases. At the same time, ensure that your operating software is up to date. That software often includes important security upgrades.

2) Take control with fraud alerts. Most credit cards allow you to set parameters so you can receive a text message or email warning if a large charge hits your card. With fraud so prevalent during the holidays, now is a great time to ask your financial institution about what products and services they offer to proactively protect you.

3) Use credit cards, not debit cards. With credit cards, you’re typically protected automatically for most fraudulent charges. With debit cards, your account can be cleared out before you know something is wrong, and it can take months to get the money back. This applies to your buying habits whether you’re in a store or shopping on your mobile device or online.

4) Know before you go. Only buy from sites you know and trust, and avoid clicking on links through emails even if they look legitimate. Just visit the site directly to find that perfect gift.

5) Be choosy with your wireless network. On a mobile device, you may want to connect to a wireless network while shopping. Be wary because not all wireless networks are secure. Only connect to wireless networks that you know to be secure; don’t just choose one with a strong signal in your area, especially when entering credit card information to make a purchase.

6) Don’t forget the simple things. Be sure to use a passcode on your device. If you lose your device or it’s stolen, a passcode at least slows down a potential identity thief from accessing your information.

7) Use a location service on your device. If your smart phone offers a location service, be sure to activate it. If your device is lost or stolen, not only can you locate it, you can also often do a remote wipe to prevent someone from obtaining any personal information on your device.

 

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