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Protecting yourself from identity theft: 5 tips everyone should know

08/21/17

Identity theft is extremely common. If the amount of identity theft crimes committed in the United States were spread evenly over the entire population, everyone in the country would have had their identities stolen at least twice. The good news is there are simple steps you can take to help protect yourself. Here are five tips to follow to protect their identities:

1. Use secure passwords

Don’t use short words or guessable dates. A combination of letters, numbers and symbols works best. And make sure to use different passwords for your financial sites and other sensitive information.

2. Avoid links in emails, IMs and social media messages

It’s easy to conceal viruses and scams with fake links. Instead of clicking links in messages, do a Google search to find the real website yourself. This might not always be practical, but you should at least avoid links to sites that require you to enter passwords or personal information, or when receiving links from an unfamiliar source.

3. Regularly check your credit

In order to protect your identity, it’s important to regularly check your credit report. The Diamond Secure Account from Pinnacle Bank can help. It makes it easy to receive your credit report every 90 days and includes credit file monitoring for additional protection.

4. Use reputable websites when shopping online

Avoid making online purchases from unfamiliar or unknown websites. They may be scams or they might not use sufficient security to protect your personal information.

5. Use anti-virus software

Security software that includes anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-phishing protection can help stop scammers even if you make a mistake. There are many free and low-cost options available online.

Learn more about the Diamond Secure Account