Just recently, the news were out and it was about this young hacker who breached the database of Commission on Elections (COMELEC) that lead to the leakage of sensitive information. Because of this, a lot were alarmed that maybe private information of theirs would be spread out or worse, their identities might be stolen. Here are a few ways to ensure that you are free from identity theft.
Keep all of your important documents in a safe
It would be wise and practical to have a safe anywhere in your home. Even though you have a safety deposit box elsewhere, it is as important as having that. Have photocopies of your documents and keep them in places where it would be safe 24/7.
This is important to ensure the security of important documents and files such as important cards, (SSS, GSIS, bank statements, etc.) files, (birth certificate, marriage certificate, baptismal, passport, etc.) and personal identity proving belongings.
It would also be necessary to renew all of the documents you can renew such as NBI clearance and NSO birth certificate to ensure that the identity would still be 100% yours.
Ensure the safety of your network in your home
Making sure that your network is safe is as important as making sure your home is. In our times, the network we are in is also like our homes where we keep private, important, and personal stuff that is not free for everybody.
Double check firewalls, network passwords, and security to be sure that all that has access to your network are the ones you truly know.
Choose strong passwords and PINs
In our times, the digital world is just as important as the concrete world. When choosing passwords for your accounts, (banks, credit cards, etc.) it is always relevant to come up with a difficult, tricky, password that only you can access.
There are people who will try to access your accounts by trying passwords such as your birth date, your favorite food, place, thing, music, marriage date, birth date of your children, parents, etc.; you get the point. Be sure to mix up letters, upper and lower case letters, and symbols (if allowed) to ensure security of your accounts.
Protect yourself and your computer at all times
There are now skilled people who will try to breach databases in order to get information that would lead up to you being a victim of identity theft. Be sure to protect your computer from viruses and from ads that you think are peculiar, stingy, and unnatural.
When online, do not immediately fill out information like credit card number, bank account number, Social Security number, etc. Be sure to research more about who you are dealing with for you to be assured that you are not dealing with someone who is attempting to steal identities from different people.
Modify all of the security walls of your accounts and records
Being as practical as possible, it would be the best idea if you modify all of the security questions, passwords, PINs, etc. of all of your accounts in order to avoid identity theft. Modify all of them and try to be discrete but difficult at the same time. As said in the previous tips, make your passwords and answers as difficult as possible; not of course to the point that you would easily forget it.
Use different combinations of words, numbers, and symbols to form a word. For instance, the word “alibi” it can be transformed as “4l1b1” or “@Lib1”. Be extra careful.
Control your financial accounts
Never ever attempt to give out financial information through the phone and online unless you are the one who initiated it. It is important to know the situation first before giving out information. Contact your local banks and offices, and give them the signal as to whether you will hold your account or make modifications to it.
Always remember that you can freeze or hold your accounts, or modify them if you say so. So if you checked your history and you notice something unnecessary, better to freeze your credit card or any of your financial accounts.
Check your payment history and make it a habit
A lot of people are not aware of this; make it a habit of checking the payment history that you have made in order to be sure of what you are buying. Keep a checklist (keep it safe and hidden) of the things you have bought with its price and its date so when you check your history, you would be sure that you were the one who made that.
It is not easy to spot someone who is trying to steal your identity; more if who you are dealing with is a hacker of some kind. So be extra careful and be observant of everything that goes around your identity. You will never know when someone is trying to steal yourself away from you. Considered to be or main line of security – the government had been breached. With this we need to be more careful and more aware of what’s really happening around us.