8 Tips to Avoid Identity Theft

Every two seconds an American becomes a victim of identity theft. If the thought of having to clean up your credit report because someone stole your identity frightens you, and you don’t want to become another statistic; here are some tips to stack the odds in your favor.



A winning night, can turn into a nightmare really fast if your wallet is lost, or stolen, especially if personal information like your social security card is in there. Do not carry your social security card.



You can bet that if you use easy to guess passwords and PINS—like your house number, or birth date—some hacker will figure it out. Use a mix of symbols and numbers, and upper and lower case letters.



Use your instinct. If an overly generic e-mail address doesn’t look legit, don’t reply, and don’t click on any links. Go to your account log-ins manually using a bookmark, or typing the URL.


Know that your credit union will never call, or e-mail asking for your social security number, or birth date. If a business, or individual asks for personal information, passwords, or credit card numbers--do not give them. Instead, call any financial institution requesting information directly at a number you know is legitimate.



Make sure all your electronic devices are as secure as possible by up-dating your operating systems, software and browsers. Being up-to-date will minimize chances of being hacked. Also, password-protect all of your devices.



Shred. Yes, some of the easiest targets for identity thieves are home trash bins. Shred invoices, financial statements, or any other personal type documents. Don’t just toss them; shred them.




Check credit reports regularly. There are three credit-reporting bureaus...a trifecta-for analyzing your activity. Check a different bureau every four months at annualcreditreports.com. If you see anything suspicious, report it.




Sign up for eServices through your online banking. Cut down on the possibility of theft through the mail by signing up for eStatements and eNotices. Also, be alerted of activity on your account by setting up eAlerts.



Follow all these steps, and your odds of being a victim of identity theft will drop dramatically. For instructions on how to sign up for eServices, visit txdpscu.org or call 512-452-5211.


Copyright 2016 Credit Union National Association Inc. Information subject to change without notice. For use with members of a single credit union. All other rights reserved.
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