Common Law - The FindLaw Consumer Protection Law Blog

3 Tips to Protect Your Personal Information

There's a balance between the convenience that advancement in technology has provided with the fact that it's created new avenues for potential scams. For this reason, it's important to be aware of the current scams that are going around during a given period of time, like the FedEx shipping scam that occurred during the holidays, and to take certain steps to protect yourself.

It's also important to report any scams you become aware of, as they can help identify the scammer or at least get the word out. Here are some helpful tips to protect your personal information, so that you don't fall victim to identity theft.

1. Be Mindful of Your Passwords

All online accounts require passwords, and the strength of that password can be the difference between protecting your personal information and exposing it. While it can be difficult to remember multiple passwords, it's important to have different passwords for different accounts. It's also important to change your passwords frequently, especially if you hear that an online store or social media platform that you have an account with has been hacked.

Finally, and this one's probably the most obvious, but it's best not to write down your passwords. However, if you do feel the need to have your passwords written somewhere, make sure you keep them somewhere that isn't easily accessible to others

2. Don't Leave a Paper Trail

Just like you shouldn't write down your passwords, it's important to be mindful of any other paperwork with identifying personal information. For example, if you receive paper credit card bills, it's important to shred them before throwing them away. While that may seem obvious, it's also important to shred offers to apply for credit cards too. As for documents with personal information that you need to keep, such as your tax returns, you should make sure they're stored in a secure location.

3. Be Vigilant

Although most credit card companies are pretty vigilant about fraudulent activity, and are generally good about reimbursing fraudulent charges, the best way to stay on top of protecting your personal information is to monitor your accounts yourself. So, be diligent about checking your checking and credit card statements to make sure there's nothing irregular going on. It's also a good idea to monitor your credit report to make sure that no one has stolen your personal information and applied for a loan or opened a credit card.

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