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Data breaches and identity theft are on the rise. Make protecting your identity an essential part of your personal security routine. Here are a few tips to help you protect yourself:
Reviewing statements or accounts regularly is a great way to catch an issue. If something is out of place, report it immediately.
You're entitled to one free copy per year from each of the 3 major credit bureaus. Ordering one from a different bureau every 4 months can help you keep tabs on your record year-round for free. Look for misreported delinquencies, over reported loan amounts, and underreported credit limits. Request corrections from the bureau in writing.
Some companies may ask for your Social Security number before doing business with you, but not every company needs it. Ask why the number is needed and ask to see their policies for safeguarding your information.
Be sure to have secure passwords on all of your accounts. If an account gets hacked, having unique secure passwords on other accounts may prevent further access to other accounts. If your identity is stolen, you can also work with the credit bureaus to set up a fraud alert or credit freeze to prevent additional accounts being set up in your name.