Last year more than 12 million people were victims of identity theft in the United States. One of the easiest ways for hackers to steal your information is online. I like to call identity theft an “economic homicide” because it truly is that detrimental to your credit score. It can take months or even years to repair your credit after a hacker steals your information.
I would like to share some tips with you on preventing identity theft before it wreaks havoc on your good credit.
- Avoid connecting to unsecure wifi networks. Free wifi is alluring when you don’t want to eat up your data plan, but connecting to these networks allows your information to be visible to everyone on the network. If you do connect to a free wifi network, do not conduct any financial transactions. This includes online banking and shopping.
- Change your passwords frequently and use tough passwords. Hackers often use computerized software to guess passwords. Lessen the chance that your accounts will be hacked by using numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters and symbols in your passwords.
- Do not store your passwords on your computer. I understand, it is hard to remember all of your passwords, but storing your passwords on your computer, especially in a file called passwords, is just opening you up to be hacked.