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How to Protect your Identity and guard against Identity Theft

Firstly be aware of the methods used to obtain your personal information.

Online Banking
Emails asking you to click on a link.
(see below)
Personal information on your computer, laptop or mobile phone.
Throwing away old credit and debit cards without destroying them.
Going through your trash! Always shred anything with your name, address and other personal information on it.

Now how to safeguard your information.

Keep a copy of all credit cards, bank account numbers and other important information in a safe place. And the telephone numbers you need to report stolen or lost cards. If you have this backup copy all your card numbers, account information etc it will help you to trace cancel cards quickly.

Do not throw credit card receipts away. Always take them home and keep them at least until the transaction has appeared on your next statement. And then shred them. This also applies to any other documents with your personal information on them.

Be aware of the area surrounding the cash machine you are using. Hide you PIN when entering it and look for any unusual equipment attached to or above the machine. Do not throw away any transaction slips.

Mobile phones and laptops are items that can be easily stolen. Make sure that any personal information on these devices is password protected.

Have up to date security software on your computer. Firewall, anti virus and anti spyware. This will prevent malicious little programs like Trojans, Keyloggers, Spyware etc getting on to your computer.

Be very suspicious about emails that want you to click on a link. They may look like they come from a legitimate bank and want you to confirm your details. They usually say something like they are increasing their online security. Or tell you that someone has tried to access your account and you must now verify your details. It is a scam. Legitimate banks never communicate in this way. If you click on that link you will probably be taken to a website that looks exactly the same as the original. Even the http:// address in the top bar might look correct. These things are easily faked.

Do not click on links. When you go to financial website either click on the site if you have stored it in your Favourites/Bookmarks or type in the address yourself.

Never open email attachments if you are not certain what they are and who has sent it. These attachments may contain software that can get on to your computer without your knowledge. Have up to date anti virus software that scans all incoming email.


Identity Theft Resources