Nobody wants to be a victim of identity theft. However, we may innocently put ourselves at risk without realizing it. Certain common habits we have can make it easier for identity thieves to steal our sensitive, personal information and misuse it to commit fraud and crimes.
Here are 5 common habits that can put you at risk for identity theft:
1. Using the same, easy-to-remember password across multiple accounts
A fraudster might manage to obtain your password and try to use it for your other accounts. Be sure to use different passwords to avoid compromising multiple accounts.
2. Sending emails containing your financial information, usernames or passwords
Never send sensitive information via emails. If possible, make use of encryption or give the information to the relevant parties in person or via a secured website.
3. Failing to review monthly statements because you make payments via auto debit
Although auto debit makes things more convenient, you still need to check on these transactions regularly to ensure they’re the payments you authorised and all is going smoothly.
4. Throwing sensitive documents like bank statements into the trash without shredding them first
Fraudsters and identity thieves are known to go through trash, looking for any information they can use. Prevent this by destroying sensitive information before you discard them.
5. Not checking your full credit report regularly
Your credit report is updated every month. Checking it regularly will alert you to early signs of fraud and identity theft, so you can take prompt action if needed.