It seems there is always a data breach in the news, some with far-reaching effects. Peoples offers the following tips to protect yourself.
- Watch your accounts. Regularly check all your banking, debit card and credit card accounts through online and mobile banking and report suspicious activity immediately. Call your bank’s Customer Service Department with any questions.
- Use extra caution with phone and email. If you get phone calls, text messages or emails that you were not expecting, do not click on it and do not provide personal information. Visit the company’s website or call them back directly to verify if the communication is legitimate.
- Place a fraud alert. If your information has been involved in a data breach, contact the three major credit bureaus Experian, Equifax and TransUnion to place a fraud alert on your file. This requires a business to verify your identity before issuing you credit.
- Consider a credit freeze. A credit freeze lets you restrict access to your credit report, making it more difficult for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name. Learn more at www.ftc.gov.
- Pull your credit reports. You are entitled to a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus per year. Get yours at annualcreditreport.com. Review carefully for anything suspicious.
- Change your passwords. Change the passwords for all your online accounts and email. Once hackers have access to ID and password information, they routinely try the same combination across multiple platforms.
Learn more about identity protection products from Peoples State Bank by clicking here.