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Protect Your Identity

Protect Your Online Accounts

  • Do not allow websites to store personal information such as name, addresses, and credit card data if not required
  • Never give out personal information to websites that you don’t trust
  • Use a secure password strategy
    • Use strong passwords that are not based on dictionary words
    • Use a mix of upper-case letters, lower-case letters, spaces, numbers, and special characters
    • The longer the password the better. A minimum of 12 characters is best.
    • Do not reuse the same password for multiple websites.
    • Never write down passwords or other sensitive information.
    • Change passwords to sensitive accounts on a regular basis.
  • Always lock your screen when leaving your computer alone to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Sign out of any online accounts when you are finished using them.

Protect Against Identity Theft

  • If you are asked for Personally Identifiable Information (PII) on a website or form, ask if it is really necessary
  • Check your credit reports on a regular basis for irregularities. The government allows you to access your credit report three times a year for free from https://www.annualcreditreport.com
  • Consider identity theft insurance policies that can be added to your homeowners or renters insurance policy. These policies can assist in the case of a full blown identity theft.
  • If you believe you are a victim of identity theft:
    • Place a fraud alert with one of the three credit reporting agencies
    • Retrieve your credit report immediately to review your account history
    • Create an identity theft report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)