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Oct 12, 2021

Keep Your Identity Safe

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What are you doing to keep your identity safe?

Your personal information could be hanging out in any number of places, from your social media accounts to your inbox or mailbox. Here are a few ways you can protect your information and keep your identity safe, both online and offline.


Online

Ensure your software is up-to-date — Keep your operating system, web browsers and apps current to protect you against the latest malware threats and ensure web pages load properly. Most software can be set to automatically update. Set yours to do so! You need to also stay on top of browser retirements and transitions. For example, the transition of Internet Explorer (soon to be retired) to Microsoft Edge is not automatic and must be done by the consumer to ensure a more secure and modern browsing experience.

Monitor your account transactions— Check your statements when they arrive and review account activity anytime in digital banking. You can also set alerts and receive notifications on account activity and balance updates.

Check your credit report— You can get a report from each of the credit reporting companies. Every year, for free. Visit AnnualCreditReport.com or contact (877) 322-8228. Plus, during the pandemic, everyone in the U.S. can get a free credit report each week from all three national credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion).

Update your privacy settings— When is the last time you checked your privacy settings on social media? Take some time to check the settings on each of your accounts and make sure you’re not publicly displaying any information you wouldn’t want the wrong person to see.

Look for the lock symbol— When you’re shopping online, submitting an application or sending other personal information online, check the address bar for the padlock symbol. This means the information you send will be encrypted.

Freeze your credit— If you believe your information has been leaked, you can freeze your credit with each of the three major credit bureaus. This will help prevent identity thieves from being able to open new accounts under your name. It is now free to freeze and unfreeze your credit.  Keep in mind—if you need to have your credit checked, such as if you’re applying for a loan, unfreezing your credit may take some time, since you’ll have to contact each credit bureau.

Use account alerts— Stay in the know about your accounts by setting up account alerts within online banking. When you log into your TruStone account, navigate to the settings tab and click the alerts sub-menu. There, look through the tabs to set up different kinds of alerts and how to receive them. For instance, you can choose to get a text for a failed attempt to log in to your account.


Offline

Shred it— Don’t throw out documents containing your personal information or account information. Familiarize yourself with what documents to shred so your information isn’t hanging out on the curbside where anyone could get ahold of it. If you don’t have a shredder, you can bring your documents to one of our spring or fall shred events.

Lock your documents— If you don’t already have one, get a lockable container or file cabinet for financial documents and records.

Hold your mail— Going out of town? Putting your mail on hold is an easy alternative to asking the neighbors to grab it for you. Through the USPS Hold Mail Service, you can make sure that potentially vulnerable information isn’t sitting unguarded in your mailbox while you’re out of town.

For more tips on keeping your information safe, see our member security tips.
 


Note: parts of this article were sourced from the Federal Trade Commission and NerdWallet.

This blog article is intended to provide you with a general understanding of the subject matter. It is not intended to provide legal, accounting, or other professional advice and should not be relied on as such. Information may have changed since the publication date.

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