Fight Back Against Identity Fraud

Our friends at Consumer Federation of America have some advice about how you can protect yourself from identity fraud:

  • Create separate passwords for your most sensitive accounts. Sure, it’s convenient to use the same password for everything. Crooks know that, so if they get your password for one account, they’ll try it to log into accounts on other websites. Any account that has your financial information, Social Security number or other sensitive data should have a unique, strong password to keep would-be intruders guessing.
  • Beef up your authentication. If your username, which is often your email address, and a password is all it takes to access your accounts, your defenses are relatively weak. Two-factor authentication – your password plus something that only you have, such as a one-time code that is sent to you as part of the login process – provides much stronger protection.
  • Freeze your credit file. This prevents identity thieves from opening new credit accounts in your name because the lenders won’t be able to access your credit record. Since some landlords and employers also check applicants’ credit records, freezes can also stop fraudulent attempts to get jobs or rent apartments using your identity. Contact the three major credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – to request a security freeze. You can lift the freeze anytime you need to and reset it. In some situations you may be able to do this for free; otherwise, there will be a small fee.

More advice>>

For more on consumer protections, follow @TNCitizenAction



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