Over60

Money & Banking

5 ways to protect yourself from identity theft

5 ways to protect yourself from identity theft

It’s hard to guarantee total protection against hackers and with more people losing money to scammers, it’s important to do your best to stay vigilant.

Recent Scamwatch figures show that in 2019, Aussies lost $4.3 million to scammers, which is almost three times more than was lost the year before.

With scams becoming more sophisticated, the onus is on you to stop your money from being stolen.

Here are five ways to protect yourself from identity theft. (AN: will number later, just hate doing it in a word doc as it doesn’t copy properly to umbraco) 

1. Always check your emails

In order to get into your accounts, a hacker will try many different passwords or sometimes reset it. If you see a password reset email and you can’t remember requesting one, this can be a major red flag.

2. Set up two-factor authentication

This is a two-step process that you can add to your account login. This increases security on your account as it requires a different piece of information outside your password.

It is usually a temporary code which is sent as a text message to your phone.

How does it work?

After you enter your password, you’ll be asked to enter in the code that has been sent to your phone. Some websites have a time limit on the code so if you don’t enter it before the time limit expires, the code will no longer work.

This also means that if hackers gain access to your password, they won’t receive the temporary code and won’t be able to get into your account.

3. Consider a PO box

Having an outdoor mailbox makes you more vulnerable to identity theft as anyone can help themselves to the personal documents that are sent to your home.

Your mail provides information like your full name, bank account details, tax file number and your address. Hackers can also steal bank cards if they’re sent to your home address.

If you decide to get a PO box, your mail will be kept in a secure place under lock and key.

However, if you don’t want to get a PO box, you can request to send personal documents and bank cards to a secure location.

4. Monitor your credit report

Every time you apply for a loan or a credit card, it’s listed on your credit report. You are able to check your credit for free every few months to make sure all listing are correct.

If you notice any suspicious activity, contact the relevant bank or lender and let them know that the listing is fraudulent.

5. Check your transaction history

Review your purchases every couple of weeks to make sure there aren’t any suspicious transactions.

If you notice any transactions that aren’t yours, put your card on hold and contact your bank immediately. You may also need to cancel your existing card and order a replacement.