If you have ever lost your wallet or purse, you know the stress it can cause. There’s so much uncertainty when you’re left without any cash, credit cards and identification.
What’s worse? Having your identity and financial information stolen online.
This is without a doubt one of the biggest risk factors for consumers who enjoy the flexibility and convenience of participating in e-commerce, or any other type of online transaction.
The damage of having your social security number and other sensitive financial data hijacked can be considerable. Don’t let it happen! It can even impact your ability to purchase a home as you try to recover from a blow to your credit score.
Take proactive measures today so that you are not a victim of this horrible predicament. Here are some tips you can implement so you can hang on to a bright financial future.
Say no to public Wi-Fi
It’s tempting and it goes perfect with that cup of joe, but try to stay away from connecting to public Wi-Fi.
These internet hubs are typically not as secure as others. Remember, even saved passwords aren’t safe on an insecure internet connection. So, beware!
Don’t be lazy with your passwords!
Speaking of passwords, avoid the common mistake of using your birthday, or an easy combination of numerals as your fool-proof password. Online bots are up to no good and can easily crack these simplistic passcodes. Opt for the character you find on the number’s row above your letters on the keyboard. Other services, such as Google, can also assist you with complex passwords that are hard to crack.
Check, and recheck your credit score
You’re entitled to free credit scores, so why not use them? This is an opportunity to keep an eye on your credit standing and ensure that no one is taking out loans using your name.
If you use credit cards, you may be eligible for free credit monitoring and alerts of suspicious activity.
Be vigilant when opening emails
Your inbox can be an entry point for nefarious motives.
Phishing schemes and other scams can be delivered directly into your inbox. So, make sure you double check any links before clicking. These bad actors are more sophisticated than ever, and may impersonate one of your financial institutions.
Always be sure to contact your bank or service provider directly if something seems a little suspicious. Also, you can sort your mail by importance using Google or other mail services to decrease the chances of opening a bad email.
Open your monthly bank statement
Yes, everything is available online as it pertains to your bank information, but make it a habit to review your monthly bank records offline.
Same goes with your monthly statements for your credit card. (If you opted out of paper records, you can download a PDF version of the same document that would have been sent to your home and review.) Watch out for any suspicious items and activity, and be sure to report it without delay.
The views, articles, postings and other information listed on this website are personal and do not necessarily represent the opinion or the position of American Pacific Mortgage Corporation.
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