7 ways your identity can be stolen

With the growing number of data breaches it can feel overwhelming when it comes to protecting your information and identity. Here are 7 ways thieves can steal your identity and personal information:

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1. You use automatic logins.

Be cautious, and log out of financial and retail websites on public computers, like at a library, work and even personal computers. Although, chances of someone accessing your information through your personal computer is thin – it may happen if your computer is infected, shared with others or stolen.

FIX: Log out of all information sensitive websites immediately after use.

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2. You use public Wi-Fi.

Sure, cell phone Internet overages suck and it’s easier to surf at your local café using FREE public Wi-Fi, but you are only making it easier for hackers to steal your personal information. Thieves can see the data stored on your device and the data you are typing into online sites.

FIX: Turn off Wi-Fi when not in use and only connect to secure connections. Save important searches for home (if you have a secure Wi-Fi connection).

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3. You send sensitive information and money through any website.

Even if you are on a secure Wi-Fi connection, the website you are using may not be safe. Thieves can steal information from these unsecure websites.

FIX: Look for the “lock” symbol on your browser and for “https://” which means it is a more secure website than “http://”.

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4. You carry your social security card.

Think twice about what you carry in your purse, wallet or what is saved on your device. Don’t make it easier for thieves to steal your information.

FIX: Leave your valuables at home and do not save valuable information like passwords on a device that may be stolen.

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5. You don’t shred your mail.

Dedicated thieves can “recycle” your mail and gather your personal details like your account number, address, full name and balances.

FIX: Shred all receipts, credit offers, account statements and expired cards. Remember that TFCU hosts free Shred Days for members throughout the year!

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6. You “check-in” at home and at stores.

The problem is not just that people know where you are, but where you are not. If you make it a habit to “check-in” on social media when you are at home, people will be able to track your whereabouts and know your schedule.

FIX: It’s all about the #latergram ! Forget about checking-in at home and only post after you have left a location.

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7. You don’t routinely check your credit report.

When your identity is stolen it may take weeks or months for you to even realize it.

FIX: Review your credit report at least once a year for any accounts you may have not opened. Sign up for TFCU’s ID Safe program and be immediately alerted to any potential threats.

For only $6 a month, ID Safe can protect your identity by actively monitoring your personal information. Learn more about our program here. 

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