The below blog by Mackoul’s Rebecca Liloy provides great tips on How to Protect Your Personal Information.
In this new “personal data economy”, protecting your personal information is very critical. The virtual world can take advantage of our naive and impulsive nature, and lead us to divulge information we would likely think twice about giving away to human strangers. Your personal information can be sold for as little as $40 by online information brokers. Many of us have fallen prey to unscrupulous identity thieves, which have caused irreparable damages. Below is a list of ways you can control your private information.
- Order your Annual Credit Report through www.annualcreditreport.com. This is a government mandated and authorized source for consumers to retrieve their annual report for free. Be wary of sites such as http://www.freecreditreport.com/, which are owned by credit bureaus such as Experian, and typically mislead consumers into signing up for “free” credit monitoring services.
- Opt out of pre-approved unsolicited credit card offers through www.optoutprescreen.com. If you do receive credit card offers through USPS mail, be sure to shred them.
- Remove yourself from national mailing lists by registering with the Direct Marketing Association’s Mail Preference Service at www.dmachoice.org/register.php.
- Register with the Do Not Call Registry through www.donotcall.gov. Telemarketers should not call your number once it has been on the registry for more than 30 days.
- Secure your Computer & Personal Devices. Be sure to always have updated anti-virus and anti-malware. Be cautious when using free WiFi hotspots, they are open and unsecured connections.
- Obtain an annual CLUE report containing your homeowner’s and/or automobile claim history through https://personalreports.lexisnexis.com/index.jsp. Just click on Insurance Reports.
The fastest growing crime is Identity Theft; do not let it happen to you. Protect yourself! For more information and tips on how to protect yourself please visit www.privacyrights.org.