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Tips for Securing Your Accounts and Personal Information
Tips for Staying Secure
Your personal information, passwords, PINs and account numbers are the keys to your accounts. As the first line of defense in securing your information, below are some best practice tips to help you secure your accounts and personal information.
- Register for, then monitor, your financial accounts frequently for unusual transactions or unrecognized activity.
- Promptly open and verify activity in statements and confirmation mailings. If you notice anything suspicious, contact your financial institution immediately.
- Maintain up-to-date contact information on your financial accounts and with your employer.
- Enable optional account notifications when available.
- Visit www.annualcreditreport.com and request a report from one of the three credit agencies. You are entitled to one free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies. Mark your calendar at 3-4-month intervals and request a report from a different agency each time. Repeat annually.
- Consider freezing your credit. Visit the Attorney General website for your state or each of the credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) for information on implementing a credit security freeze.
Passwords and PINs
- Use a passphrase instead of a password. For example, use the first letter of a sentence such as, “My new car is fun to drive to work!” to create the password, Mncif2d2w! Get creative with capitalization, including the use of numbers and special characters.
- Never use your date of birth or Social Security number as your password/PIN.
- Avoid using the same password for your financial accounts and social media or news sites.
- Do not store or otherwise allow your browser to save your passwords.
- Consider using a password manager to store, generate and update your passwords.
- Secure connection sites always begin with https://. Unless you see this, do not enter passwords or credit card information.
- Keep your browser and operating system current by turning on automatic updates.
- Just as you log into websites, fully log out of those same sites when you are finished.
- Place outgoing mail in a U.S. Postal Service mailbox instead of your home mailbox and remove mail from your home mailbox every day.
- Use a micro-cut shredder to shred receipts and mail, especially pre-approved credit card applications.
- Avoid providing account access information over the phone when in public spaces such as airports and hospital waiting rooms.
- Remove unnecessary credit or medical cards and personal items from your purse or wallet.
- Sign your credit cards immediately upon receipt, indicating “See ID” for merchants to confirm your identity.
Additional OneAmerica resources
- Pete the Planner: Identity Theft Guide
- One Day Is Today: Financial Preparation Guide
- One Day is Today: Staying Secure Tips
Other information and helpful links
- Department of Homeland Security Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks
- Federal Trade Commission How to Keep Your Personal Information Secure
- Federal Trade Commission Report Identity Theft
- Federal Trade Commission Stopping Unsolicited Mail, Phone Calls, and Emails
NOTE: Annualcreditreport.com, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion are not affiliates of any OneAmerica company.
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