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8 Tips to Protect Your Identity

9/11/2013

Identity Theft

Identity theft continues to be one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States. In the U.S., 12.6 million people – or 1 out of every 20 consumers – were victims of identity fraud last year.  Wallkill Valley Federal Savings & Loan recommends following these tips to keep your information – and your money – safe. 

Don’t share your secrets

Don’t provide your Social Security number or account information to anyone who contacts you online or over the phone. Protect your PINs and passwords and do not share them with anyone. Use a combination of letters and numbers for your passwords and change them periodically. Do not reveal sensitive or personal information on social networking sites.

Shred sensitive papers

Shred receipts, banks statements and unused credit card offers before throwing them away.

Keep an eye out for missing mail

Fraudsters look for monthly bank or credit card statements or other mail containing your financial information. Consider enrolling in online banking to reduce the likelihood of paper statements being stolen. Also, don’t mail bills from your own mailbox with the flag up.

Use online banking to protect yourself

Monitor your financial accounts regularly for fraudulent transactions.

Monitor your credit report

Order a free copy of your credit report every four months from one of the three credit reporting agencies at annualcreditreport.com.


Protect your computer

Make sure the virus protection software on your computer is active and up to date. When conducting business online, make sure your browser’s padlock or key icon is active. Also look for an “s” after the “http” to be sure the website is secure.


Protect your mobile device

Use the pass code lock on your smartphone and other devices. This will make it more difficult for thieves to access your information if your device is lost or stolen. Before you donate, sell or trade your mobile device, be sure to wipe it using specialized software or using the manufacturer’s recommended technique. Some software allows you to wipe your device remotely if it is lost or stolen.

Report any suspected fraud to your bank immediately

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