As our involvement in the digital world grows, we must also grow our awareness for potential fraud and scams. In this digital age, cyber criminals are constantly creating new and more aggressive ways to gain information that’s critical to your finances and reputation. Despite this concern, there are steps you can take to protect yourself – and you may be surprised to learn how easy these steps can be.
Think of all of the different online passwords you have for home, work or school. Now think of how often you use the same password on different platforms. If the password you use across different platforms ever gets compromised, most or all of your information could be quickly accessed by someone that shouldn’t have that privilege. A password generator can help you easily create as many passwords as you need and there are various password keeper apps available to help you manage each password.
MONITOR YOUR CREDIT
Without taking the proper precautions, your identity is at risk of being stolen online or offline (more on this later). Identity thieves will act fast with your stolen information to apply for fraudulent loans but keeping a close eye on your credit activity can help limit the damage.
Equifax, Experian and TransUnion are the three nationwide credit bureaus that collect information and compile credit reports. Each company is required by federal law to provide one free credit report to consumers like you every 12 months. You can visit www.annualcreditreport.com to benefit from this federal requirement.
Other websites charge fees to provide credit reports. Remember thatwww.annualcreditreport.com is the only site that provides your credit report for free.
WATCH FOR SCAMS
As the old saying goes, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
Many financial institutions and large companies go out of their way to let you know that they would never ask for your sensitive information, especially by email or over the phone. They do this because so many scammers have gained social security numbers, credit card numbers and similar information simply by posing as an official and asking for the information. Time and time again, unsuspecting people are quick to hand over their information.
Watch this helpful video from our friends at brass|MEDIA to learn some useful tips on how to spot a scam.
If you have any questions about these or other fraud protection tips, please contact a Mutual Savings representative by calling (800) 950-6728 or visit your nearest MSCU branch.