Every year, the number of Americans who experience identity theft rises. According to the most recently available statistics*, the number of Americans who are affected by some form of identity theft is now 42 million per year, suffering over $52 billion in losses. As one of the best known security companies in Bakersfield, CA, we are often asked to provide tips on preventing identity theft. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help protect yourself from this devastating crime. Here are some first steps you can take to reduce your risk of being victimized.
Awareness is the first step to protecting yourself from any crime. When it comes to identity theft, start by being aware that the institutions you do business with may not be equipped to protect you. At times, banks may overlook possible identity theft when the income they derive from new bank accounts fails to trigger a red flag. As for credit bureaus, they are still catching up to the technology needed in order to alert consumers to potential identity theft. By being aware of these realities, you can empower yourself to be more vigilant about protecting your personal information.
That brings us to the next directive, which is that your personal information and sensitive data should be protected at all costs. Always know the location of your physical cards, from your driver’s license to your medical cards and credit cards. If they are carried on your person, keep them secure in your wallet and don’t allow anyone to see them. Any cards kept at home should be in a secure drawer where visitors do not have access. Note: Your Social Security card should be kept safely at home in this manner. According to the experts, your Social Security card is one of the worst things to keep in your wallet.
Being prepared for the possibility of identity theft can require you to take some extra steps. Don’t give out your Social Security number on the phone; instead, be prepared by having your main account access numbers for your mortgage, utilities and other accounts in front of you when contacting the companies. By taking this simple preparation step, you will ensure you won’t need to enter your Social Security number in order to authenticate your account. Speaking of account authentication, be prepared to have a different password for each of your online accounts; you can keep track of them by storing them in a secure password manager. Using the same password for all accounts is a magnet for identity theft.
When it comes to protecting yourself from identity theft, this is how to get started. If you’re looking for security companies in Bakersfield, CA that want to help you protect yourself from all types of criminal threats, consider Secure Systems. We’ve been helping Bakersfield residents keep their homes and families secure for more than 40 years.
Source: *2022 Identity Fraud Study, Javelin Strategy and Research
About Secure Systems
Secure Systems is a Bakersfield alarm company that installs alarms for homes and businesses. We also install residential camera systems and business camera systems, commercial and residential fire alarm systems, wireless monitoring, remote access alarm systems, access control and door buzzers in Bakersfield and Kern County. Call us today at (661) 326-1747.
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