5 Ways to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
Despite awareness, businesses and residents in Tampa and the rest of the United States, continue to be affected by identity theft. While some cases are more minor than others, this growing crime can lead to severe consequences for everyone involved.
The good news is it can be completely prevented with basic precautionary measures. Here are 5 steps your Tampa business should be taking to protect itself from the risks of identity theft:
Protect Your Social Security Number: This is a crucial aspect in keeping your information safe at all times. Refrain from carrying your Social Security Number whenever possible; this means keep it out of your wallet or out of your purse. Never provide these details to anyone who contacts you through telephone or email unless they are authorized to request it, and you trust the source.
Keep All Online Passwords Secure: Ensure that your computer passwords are protected and unique in characters. Do your best to create passwords which include a minimum of one upper case, one lower case, one numeral and one special character, like # or ?. Always take the initiative to password-protect your cell phone as well.
Review Your Credit Reports on a Continuous Basis: Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to obtain a credit report from each of the three major reporting agencies, Equifax, Transunion, and Experian. Look each over carefully to verify all details look correct, and there are no signs of suspicious activity. You can request one free report from each agency each year.
If You Suspect ID Theft, Report it Right Away: It’s suggested that you visit your credit cards’ website to view how each card is being used, ensuring your finances are secure. You also have the ability to set a notification for purchases that exceed a specific dollar amount. Any time your card is charged beyond that amount, you’ll be notified by email or text. Most credit cards will provide this service at no cost, giving you an additional layer of protection.
Don’t toss sensitive documents in the trash – shred them: Thoroughly shred all documents containing confidential information, prior to tossing them away. Keep in mind that office shredders do not provide the same security as professional paper shredding services, and unless you have an individual committed to this responsibility on a regular basis, quite often it leads to forgotten or lost documents. This poses a significant security threat to your company, as if documents reach the wrong hands you may be liable. The safest approach to smart document management for your company is turning to Business Records Management in Tampa. If you are in the Tampa region, contact BRM for a free no obligation quote.
Call us at 888-896-6222 for more information regarding our secure document storage and document shredding services.