Ten Tips To Protect Your Identity

In the last post, “How Fairview Is Protecting Your Information,” we discussed the rise of health care data breaches and what Fairview is doing to protect our patients’ data, but the truth is cyber criminals may also target individuals.

Here are a few easy practices I encourage you to adopt to reduce your risk of becoming a victim of identity fraud.

  • Be cautious about sharing your personal information. It’s okay to question why information is needed and how it’ll be used.
  • Don’t use public Wi-Fi accounts when conducting personal business (health, banking, bills, etc.).
  • Be careful about where you store personal information (i.e., check “cloud” storage privacy practices before using).
  • Learn how to spot phishing scams; these are often conducted via email. A cyber criminal will send you an email, sometimes from a name or email address you recognize, in attempt to obtain personal information from you. The email may include an attachment or link that when opened prompts you to enter personal information (or may infect your computer/device with a virus).
  • Review your medical record and credit reports for accuracy.
  • Use long, complicated passwords and don’t reuse the same password for multiple sites.
  • Be mindful of who is around when you’re viewing personal information online—or on paper, for that matter.
  • Limit the amount of personal information you include in your social media profiles, especially the obvious things like your full name, address and birthdate. But also avoid including details that may be answers to your “secret questions” that are used to verify your identity. For example: Employer, Hometown, Pet’s name, Mother’s Maiden Name, Spouse’s Name, Car.
  • Mail personal documents (e.g., tax forms) from secure mailboxes (e.g., at a post office).
  • Shred documents containing any personal information, including junk mail that lists your name and address.

Do you have any additional tips to share that may help others protect their identity? Comment below!

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