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How to Prevent Identity Theft: Stay Safe & Secure

How to Prevent Identity Theft: Stay Safe & Secure

Identity theft is a common crime where someone steals personal information and then uses that information to impersonate you to get credit. They can access credit cards in your name, apply for loans and generally wreak havoc. So how can you prevent identity theft from happening to you?


We asked our Copetown car loan team to share some actionable advice for protecting yourself and your credit score from identity theft. Here’s what they came up with.


Careful what you share online


Anyone can be anyone online and oversharing isn’t just a social faux pas, it can be dangerous too. You could be sharing identifiable information with a scammer posing as a friend or providing everything they need to steal your identity.


While we don’t want you to live in fear of the internet, always have it in the back of your mind who the person on the other end of the conversation might be.


Never click an email link


Emails are a prime vector for fraud. Whether it’s infected links, phishing, spear phishing or something else.


If you receive emails from people you don’t know, never click links within them. Even if the email looks legit, like from your bank or credit card company, never click links.


Links can be made to look legitimate while sending you somewhere completely different. The visible address you see in the email can point somewhere completely different.


Hover your cursor over a link in the next spam email you receive to see just how simple it is to fool the unwary.


Use two-factor authentication everywhere online


As well as strong passwords, you should always use two-factor authentication (2FA) online. 2FA is where you log in normally and then are sent an SMS code or asked for a code from an authenticator app.


You’re only allowed access once you add that second factor, that code.


It’s a simple but exceptionally effective security method and while not perfect, can protect your accounts from the vast majority of identity thieves.


Shred all your paperwork


Identity theft doesn’t just happen online. Dumpster divers can retrieve all kinds of information from your trash. Therefore, we recommend shredding or burning any official paperwork rather than just throwing it in the trash.


You would be amazed at what people can do with the stuff we throw away!


Keep an eye on your credit report


Sometimes, the first you’ll know about your identity being stolen is when you receive a default letter from a creditor.


While monitoring your credit report won’t prevent that, it can alert you much faster to anything untoward.


You can check your credit report once per year, per credit bureau for free. Get them at TransUnion or Equifax. Some financial products provide free credit reports more often or even monitoring services.


Do all these things and you’re going a long way to prevent identity theft and protect your credit. Then, when it’s time, our Copetown car loan team will have a much easier time finding you a great deal!


When you’re ready for a car lease or loan, get in touch with the Copetown auto loan experts at Northway Ford for great deals on auto finance.


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