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Protecting Your Identity

Gloved hand holding Social Security card in front of keyboardIdentity theft is a crime in which an individual with criminal intent, otherwise known as an identity thief, gains access to another's personal information, such as Social Security or credit card numbers, and uses them for their own personal gain.  With your information that the identity thief obtains, they can do things such as open different accounts, drain your bank account, buy property, and even receive medical care with your health insurance.  Even though anyone can be a victim to identity theft, there are a few steps you can take to lessen the possibility that it occurs to you.

 

  1. Being proactive is one of the best ways to protect yourself against identity theft.  An identity theft protection plan can help you do just that... An identity theft protection plan offers you:  credit monitoring, total identity monitoring, 3-in-1 credit report and credit score, and more... CB&S Bank knows how important having an identity theft protection plan in place is and has made special arrangements with IDProtect to offer you affordable identity theft protection for the low monthly cost of $3.95.
  2.  One simple way to help protect yourself from identity theft is to create strong passwords for your accounts.  Try not to use common passwords, such as a pet's name, a birth date or your mother's maiden name.  Instead, strengthen your password by incorporating upper and lowercase letters, special characters and numeric characters.  It's also good practice to use different passwords for different accounts and to remember to change them frequently.
  3. In today's world, social media users tend to share a lot of their personal life on their accounts.  Be cautious of what you post on your accounts, as potential identity thieves have a tendency to look here for information that could be used to confirm a person's identity—avoid posting information such as your address, phone number, exact birth date, mother's maiden name, etc.
  4. Keep your computer up-to-date with current anti-virus and anti-malware software.  Identity thieves have been known to take advantage of people's personal computers by infecting them with viruses and malware that can record passwords, personal/financial information and even certain keystrokes.
  5. However convenient it may be to do your online banking from your phone, if you are not using a secure Wi-Fi connection, an identity thief can easily access your information and use it for their personal gain.  To ensure that this does not happen, always make sure you are using a secure Wi-Fi connection to conduct your online banking.
  6. Watching your credit and bank accounts thoroughly is one easy way to ensure that there is no suspicious activity going on in your accounts.  A lot of times, identity thieves will only charge small amounts in hopes that the victim will not notice.  If you examine your accounts regularly then you will be more likely to notice a discrepancy before it becomes a bigger issue.
  7. Be careful not to fall into phishing scams.  Sometimes identity thieves will send victims emails posing as a reliable company with links directing the victim to click and verify personal details such as their address, Social Security numbers, etc.

 

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