July 27, 2016

Keeping You Safe and Secure: Personal Information

Protect Your Personal Information

Use caution in all aspects of your life

Identity theft can wreak havoc in your life, with the possibility of financial ruin and the overall inconvenience.  In today’s world, we spend a lot of time online—shopping, banking, bill paying, and simply communicating.  Don’t take anything for granted—know how to protect your personal information online and in your every day life.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, there are four main ways to protect your personal information:

  • Keep your personal information secure offline
    • Keep your personal records safe and secure at home and at the office—lock them up!
    • Limit what you carry—only carry the credit or debit cards and paperwork you need.  Never carry your social security card in your purse or wallet.
    • Organize your records and shred documents you no longer need.  Know how long to keep your records with this guide.
  • Keep your personal information secure online
    • Be aware of who you are giving your information to.   If someone calls you, don’t give them your personal information unless you know who you are dealing with.  Offer to call them back to verify who they are.
    • Encrypt your data.  Look for the lock icon on the status bar of your internet browser to ensure the information is transmitted safely.  This is especially important when banking, shopping, or paying bills online.
    • Use layered authentication for an extra layer of security.  For additional security, Fortifi Bank’s online banking utilizes this feature.
    • Keep your passwords private.
    • Be cautious of what you share on social media.
  • Secure your social security number
    • A little redundant—but never carry your social security card in your purse or wallet.
    • Be comfortable with who and when you are providing your social security number.  Don’t be afraid to ask if you can provide alternative forms of identification.
  • Keep your devices secure
    • Use anti-virus software, anti-spyware software, and a firewall.
    • Avoid phishing emails.
    • Be cautious when using public wi-fi.
    • Lock your devices when not in use.  This includes setting a password on your cell phone.

You may have heard this all before, but have you taken action?  An ounce of prevention can go a long way in preventing the pain and agony of compromised personal information.


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