Today, identity theft is a crime on the rise, with no end in sight, the more technology available, the easier it is to steal others information. The safety of our identity can cause concern, as it can be a costly and stressful threat to our personal lives, and affects millions regularly. But by being on the offense and learning to be vigilant about cybersecurity practices, we can help protect ourselves from potential threats. First things first, we need to start by guarding our social security numbers and those of our children.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Take advantage of “more security” at “Social Security.” They now require a two-step verification to sign into personal accounts. These codes can be received via email or text.
- If you haven’t already, go to SSA.gov and create accounts for you and your children. This will prevent others from opening false accounts, and you will be ensuring your account is yours! Regularly log onto your account to verify everything is in order.
- Create a secure passcode with at least 12 characters and use a combination of letter, numbers, and symbols. If you’re afraid of losing your passcodes, try an app like mSecure which stores and encrypts your codes for safe keeping.
- Be skeptical and ask questions. Be cautious about giving your social security number. It is highly confidential, so always question why it is needed, how it will be used, and what will happen if you refuse.
- Do not carry your S.S. card around. Keep it in a secure location at home, and avoid carrying around documents with your number displayed.
- If you do realize you are a victim of identity theft, get help immediately. Log onto identitytheft.gov to report the incident and get a recovery plan.
Keeping our identity and our family’s identity safe is of the utmost importance, and that is why being overly cautious can help you be safer in the long run. While there is not always something we can do to prevent a fraudulent attack, there are ways to be less targeted, which will help to make sure it doesn’t happen.
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