Sandra Gilpatrick, CFP ®,CDFA™

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Cybersecurity Tips

 

Sandra Gilpatrick  | December 01, 2016 

Cybersecurity

We don't want to think about the 400 pound hacker on a couch, but…in today's highly digitized world, the most common avenues through which a criminal will commit fraud or identity theft will likely be through your credit or computer.

Here are some easy financial tips to help keep your credit safe:

1. To catch a thief

Review your credit reports on a regular basis to catch irregular credit card activities. www.annualcreditreport.com helps you stay up to date on credit taken out in your name. You'd be surprised at how easy it is to take out credit in someone else's name- think of all the department stores that offer easily accessible credit cards. Bonus points for requesting a 90 day fraud alert. You'll have extra credit verification hoops to go through, but so would a thief. You can contact just one of the following agencies:

  • Equifax (800) 525-628,
  • Experian (888) 397-3742, or
  • TransUnion (800) 680-7289

2. Look out for your kids too

Minors 13-17 can order their credit report www.annualcreditreport.com
Credit reporting companies do not knowingly keep credit files on children under 13 yrs. If you suspect identity theft on your child:

3. An apple a day

Make sure your personal computer is secured and updated with the necessary anti-virus software. The following resources will help in addressing what your computer needs to stay safe.

In the event of identity theft, take action immediately. Contact the fraud department of creditors and report fraud. Next, file a report with the police to document the disputed charges. Lastly, file a complaint with the federal trade commission by calling 877-ID-THEFT.

Most cases of identity theft or fraud are uncovered after far too much damage is done. Stay ahead of the game and avoid being an easily targeted victim.