Identity Theft Prevention Tips

 

Theresa Robinson, PSG’s Office Administrator and Human Resources Coordinator, attended the April meeting of the Capital Area Human Resource Association (CAHRA). CAHRA was chartered in Jackson, MS, and is a member of Society for Human Resource Management.

At the April meeting, the Harvard Risk Management Corporation provided the following Identity Theft Prevention Tips. It is important to protect your personal information; read over these suggestions and take action to protect yourself from identity theft!

 

Review a current copy of your credit report.

Credit reports contain a lot of personal information. You can receive one free credit report every year from each of the three national credit bureaus. You can access your reports online at www.annualcreditreport.com.

Review your password practices.

Identity thieves use our passwords to access a lot of our personal information. An impersonal combination of letters, numbers, and symbols (!@#$%/\&) is best. Use different passwords for all of your accounts, and keep them handy and hidden in a secure place. Also, change your passwords regularly.

Protect your computer and smartphone.

Use firewall, virus-detection, and spyware protection software that you update regularly. Also, don’t download software from sites that you don’t know and trust. Check your internet browser security.  Don’t click on links in pop-up windows or open e-mails from unknown senders.

Be cautious with social media.

The information that you share on social networks (home or email address, children’s names, birth date, employer, schools, etc.) is exactly what thieves use for scams, phishing, and account the. Don’t click on suspicious links or articles.  Be cautious of receiving friend requests from people that you are already friends with.

Copy the contents of your wallet and store in a secure place.

Make copies, front and back, of credit cards, ID cards, health insurance cards, library cards, etc. and all other personal documents, and store thaf in a safe, secure, and quickly accessible location. When your information goes missing, you will know all of your account numbers and who to call to report it IMMEDIATELY!

Put a fraud alert on your credit report, if you suspect that your information was compromised.

If you suspect that your information was compromised in a data breach or stolen, you can place a fraud alert on your credit records by contacting the three credit bureaus.

  • Equifax: 1-888-766-0008
  • Experian: 1-888-397-3742
  • TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289

View your Social Security Earnings and Benefits statement and check it for accuracy.

Viewing your statement is a quick way to see if anyone has worked a job, using your information. You can request a copy by setting up an account at ssa.gov.

Examine charges on your bank and credit card statements regularly.

Check carefully for any unauthorized charges or withdrawals, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem. If you find any, contact your financial institution or credit card company immediately. Also, thieves may change your contact information to hide fraudulent charges, so also call if your bills don’t arrive on time.

Never give your credit card number or personal information over the phone unless you initiated the call.

With Caller ID Spoofing, a thief can pretend to be calling from your ban\, work, police department, or even a trusted friend or relative.  Do not feel pressured to answer personal questions.  Even if you feel that the source is legitimate, call them back on a number that you have for them.

Invest in an identity theft protection plan that provides restoration services.

Make sure you choose a service that will not only monitor your information and let you know that you are a victim, but also restore your identity in ALL of the different types of identity theft.



Theresa Robinson, CSP – Office Administrator and HR Coordinator

Theresa Robinson is the HR Coordinator and Office Manager here at PSG. Besides the many administrative duties that she performs to keep the team running smoothly, she works in conjunction with the PSG Recruiters, General Manager, and the Staff Accountant. She also love working with PSG’s candidates; her position gives her the opportunity to pass along tidbits – the little things they don’t teach in class – that could give someone an edge.

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