According to a study by NortonLifeLock™, more than 90% of Americans have concerns about data privacy. It’s understandable why—the consequences of identity theft can leave victims in a tailspin of damaged credit and the cost of time and money spent to restore their good name. As we approach tax season, a period when identity theft is most prominent, there’s no better time to take action to protect yourself from the devastating effects that identity theft could cause. We’ve outlined below three simple steps you take.
Don’t Share Your Information
One of the easiest ways a criminal can capture your information is simply by asking you for it. But wait! You would never knowingly give out your personal information to a stranger, right? Have you ever received a call from the IRS claiming that you owed money? This is one targeted way to capture your information. These calls are intended to scare you into providing information to the criminal, and unfortunately, it works! Thousands of people have been conned out of millions of dollars through these tax scams. Visit the IRS website to learn more about how to identify and protect yourself against tax scams.
Update Your Passwords
Your passwords are another easy way for cybercriminals to gain access to your personal information. Weak passwords leave you open for an attack—and because many of us likely use the same password across multiple platforms, a password breach could be disastrous. Take a moment to consider what you use your password for. What information could a criminal retrieve if they captured your password? Access to social media accounts, your bank account, and your email are just three examples of where criminals can obtain information to commit identity theft. To help you learn to create stronger passwords, check out this password protection blog post.
Keep Yourself Informed
Often, identity theft victims don’t realize their identity has been stolen until it’s too late. You can protect yourself by enrolling in NortonLifeLock™*, a new, free Visa® benefit that has been added to our Platinum, Gold, and Classic Credit Cards as of February 1, 2021. This benefit program offers dark web monitoring, data breach notifications, stolen wallet assistance, One-Bureau Credit Monitoring Alerts**, and more! By getting notified early on of a possible breach, you can act immediately, thus reducing the chance of inflicted damage that comes with identity theft. To learn more and enroll in this free program, visit www.cardbenefitidprotect.com.
Thinking about identity theft may seem scary, but the best way to protect yourself from becoming a victim is to stay informed, update your security protocols, and provide yourself with a safety net should the worst happen. If you have questions about how to protect yourself from identity theft or want more information about our new Visa benefit, NortonLifeLock™, schedule an appointment with a local expert.
*No one can prevent all identity theft.
**Two requirements must be met to receive the One-Bureau Credit Monitoring feature: (i) your identity must be successfully verified with Equifax; and (ii) Equifax must be able to locate your credit file that contains sufficient credit history information. If these requirements are not met you will not receive credit features from Equifax. You will receive Credit Features once the verification process is successfully