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IDENTITY THEFT Provided by Laurissa Grubb from Blue Eagle® Credit Union

SHRED IT! TO YOU BY Not allBROUGHT identity theft starts online. Trash cans and recycling bins are still an easy way for theives to access your personal information.

A personal shredder ($20-$30 for a basic model) is a small investment that makes a huge difference. Not sure what to shred? Here are some examples: Addressed envelopes Bank statements ATM receipts Expired credit cards Cell phone bills Utility bills Old boarding passes E-mail printouts School schedules Old report cards Travel Itineraries Store cards Pay stubs Résumés Pre-approved credit card offers Receipts Canceled or voided checks Magazine address labels 10

Growing Up In the Valley • July 2015

lot more in your phone than THEFT ANDa SOCIAL MEDIA Identity theftIDENTITY is nothing new, and yet it carrying

just your contact list. With smartphone still manages to cost its victims billions theft on the rise, protect yourself: of dollars (yes, that’s billions with a “b”) globally each year—not to mention Have a password-protected lock tell Is your Do your•online Can others the time andhometown hassle involved in recovon your home screen. when This is you’re a stand-out of eringand a stolen identity. relationship usernames contain ard feature on all smartphones for a status publicly numbers relating to advantage the house or out of reason, so take of it! Bonus The good news is there are tons of listed on your your age or the year town based points if your smartphone also has aon your things you can do to deter identity location tracking (also known as the thieves. The badprofile? news is that manyyou of were born? Facebook Instagram feed? “find my phone” feature). us do little beyond choosing a decent password (and some people don’t even • Public Wi-Fi networks are not secure, bother doing that!). Here are the top so avoidquestions, checking your bank accounts If you answered to any of these you’re making it five yes information or doing your online shopping from the jackpots for ideneasier for identity thieves to take advantage of your information. local coffee shop or during your layover tity thieves, along at the airport. with helpful tips Vary your passwords, customize your privacy settings and think on what you can before you share that next status or • Do notphoto. store sensitive information on do right now to your phone–storing passwords or login protect yourself. information in a note taking app is bad news. 1. Your Trash Can Even if you’re re3. The Pin Pad ally careful about It seems like the information you put online, your every few trash bags and recycling bin can still months a new be an easy target for identity thieves. • Unexpected withdrawals or charges point-of-purDumpster diving may sound old-school, chase scheme listed your bank and credit card but it’s still anineasy way for identity emerges– skimthieves to get access to your personal statements ming devices, information. keystroke • Errors in your credit report loggers, ATM • Get a shredder (a basic model will hacking… the run you $20 to $30 at a big-box store) • Missing mail list goes on! Here are some good pracand use it! tices for when you’re out and about: • Receiving unexpected bills and credit • Get into the habit of shredding things • When making a purchase, keep your by them mailout, especially beforecards throwing you there’s debit or creditDid card in know sight at all an entire things like bank statements, expired times. Twitter account devoted to • Problems accessing your e-mail or credit cards, utility bills, cell phone retweeting photos that people bills, pay stubs, old boarding passes online banking accounts • Use your hand to block theofbuttons and travel itineraries, and ATM rehave posted their credit and when enteringdebit your pin number, even ceipts. cards? • Calls from debt collectors regarding if there’s no one immediately behind accounts Nocan matter how you–a camera always be excited watch- you are • Don’t forget to that are not yours ing. about your new card, never share check your enve• Issues it online. lopes! Anythingwith medical insurance or • Choose a good PIN. Avoid PINs dewith your name inaccuracies in your health records rived from your personal information, and address on it like your telephoneBnumber, R OU GH address, T TO YOU BY needs to be shred• Notice from the government that or birthday. Avoid easy-to-guess pins, ded, too. multiple tax returns were filed in likeyour the dreaded “1234.” name 2. Your Phone • Change up your PIN, especially Odds are you’re


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Growing Up In the Valley July 2015  

Volume 3, Issue 11