Important tips for keeping your information safe online and at home.
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal ID information to commit fraud or other crimes. Your name, Social Security number, or credit card number are examples of information that you should keep private.
The FTC estimates that as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year.
By stealing your personal information, thieves could rent an apartment, open a credit card, or establish a telephone account in your name. The worst part is you may not find out about a theft until you review your credit report, see charges you didn’t make or are contacted by a debt collector. So it’s important to review your credit report annually and keep your personal information secure.
How can I secure my information?
- Protect your account information. Protecting your social security number, credit card numbers, and online account information is very important in preventing ID theft.
- Never give out sensitive information like your social security number, account number or password information in response to a request via email, phone, social network, or instant message.
- Before entering sensitive information online, make sure that the web page is secure. Secure web addresses will have an “s” after (or before) the http: https or shttp. They will also have a closed padlock icon next to the web address.
- Create strong passwords for online accounts. Strong passwords contain letters and numbers and should NOT contain your name, date of birth, driver’s license, passport number, or similar information.
- Keep separate passwords for each of your online accounts.
- Do not share passwords or post them on your computer for someone to easily access. Keep your passwords secure!
I think my identity has been stolen, what can I do?
Immediately change passwords and PINs on all of your accounts, then report:
- The incident to your credit card company, bank, or health insurer
- Identity theft to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at ftc.gov/idtheft
- Scams or fraud to the FTC at ftccomplaintassistant.gov
One of our personal concierge or mortgage professionals will be happy to meet with you.