Protect Your Identity with These Easy Tips

Last year, more than 1,200 security breaches exposed almost one-half million sensitive records, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center, reminding us all of the importance of keeping our personal and financial information safe. Here are a few tips to help you stay on alert when it comes to data breaches, scammers and others who may put your personal information at risk:

Be smart about passwords

When establishing accounts online, create complex passwords that would be hard to guess. If possible, include capital and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. Be weary of using the same password for multiple online accounts; if a breach exposes your password on one site, hackers may be able to access other accounts using that same password. When possible, sign up for two-factor authentication, which requires a second verification from you (usually via phone, email or another method) that a scammer couldn’t replicate, even if they have your login and password information.

Verify requests

It’s unlikely a major company will randomly call or email to directly request personal information. Any requests for this information that seem outside of routine communication you expect from that company should be verified. If you receive a phone call or email request for this information, turn the tables and directly call or email an official representative to verify the request, and never share social security numbers or other sensitive information via unsecure email.

Beware of unknown links

If you encounter a suspicious looking email or text, don’t open it, don’t click on any unknown links and especially don’t send funds through it. If you do open and follow through with a phishing email, your computer or smartphone may be infected with malware and your personal information and funds could be stolen. A phishing email may appear to come from an official organization, but it will often include a spoof email address, urgent language or spelling errors.

Stay vigilant

Just like for your personal safety, simply staying aware of your surroundings is helpful in protecting your financial safety. Set up fraud alerts and check statements at least monthly to monitor for any unrecognized charges. If possible, enable mobile notifications for credit card charges, so you’ll know right away if one of your accounts has become compromised online.

To learn more about how OKFB Insurance protects our customers, talk with an agent today.