Statistics from the FBI show that there were nearly 850,000 complaints of identity theft, data breaches and other forms of fraud in 2021, which was up 7% from the year before and added up to losses of $7 billion.
Identity theft can strike anywhere at any time—whether you’re at home, online, or on the road. Ontario Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing has a look at warning signs and way to prevent becoming a victim at each location.
How to Protect Yourself at Home
Sensitive financial documents travel through the mail, and one way to ensure that these documents reach you without being intercepted is through a service the United States Postal Service offers called Informed Delivery. This service allows you to preview letter-size mail through an app or website and also sends you email notifications to update you on packages being sent your way. You can sign up at https://informeddelivery.usps.com.
How to Protect Yourself Online
The first step to protect yourself online is to use secure passwords. Avoid numbers that are associated with you like an address, anniversary, or birthday. Experts suggest using special characters (!, ~, @,$) along with numbers and letters, and if you’re familiar with any phrases in foreign languages, that’s another tip that is helpful to avoid scammers guessing your password.
If you’re given the option, also opt-in for multifactor authentication. This is when you are prompted to have a passcode emailed to you after attempting to log-in to an account, especially if it’s on an unfamiliar device.
How to Protect Yourself Away From Home
Be careful of using public Wi-Fi networks because most of them are not secure. One thing you can do, if data constraints are not a concern on your mobile device, it to just turn Wi-Fi off while you’re traveling. This way, you won’t be connected to an unsecure network without realizing it. Also be sure to keep devices in a safe place while traveling. If you’re leaving anything in a hotel room, utilize the in-room safe while you’re out and about.
To learn more about Ontario Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing and all of the services they offer, visit http://ontario-center.facilities.centershealthcare.org.