3 easy ways to protect against identity theft at home
Tips from office specialists – Rexel
Identity theft is at record high levels. Cifas reported that approximately 173,000- identity frauds had taken place in the UK in 2016 (and that’s only those that were reported).
Names, addresses and phone numbers should not be considered invaluable to fraudsters. If a fraudster can marry these pieces of information with dates of birth, national insurance numbers, credit card numbers or online shopping accounts, they have enough to cause you a lot of pain.
Why taking precautions is important
You may be up to date with document management at work, but are you replicating what you know at home?
Handling physical documents with care is just as important as protecting your Internet profile. The key to minimising the risk of fraud at home lies in destroying the important documents you no longer need, especially those with identifying information.
We don’t always realise just how much personal and sensitive information is stored in our own homes, from computers, to smartphones, post, emails and texts.
Social media has become a platform where personal information is shared on a daily basis. With unprecedented levels of active users, the willingness to display this information has increased. The good news is that there are strict privacy settings that allow us to protect who can see our personal information. Check yours regularly to make sure you’re not sharing any potentially damaging information.
It is not only costly and time consuming to change all your personal details, it could have very damaging effects for you, your family and your work if it fell into the wrong hands.
Having your identity stolen and used can hit your finances hard. Fraudsters could take money from your bank account or they could take credit out in your name. Their actions can hurt your credit score and affect your chances of getting credit in the future.
Top tips for preventing identity theft at home
Here are three simple behaviours that we advocate for office workers that you can replicate at home to avoid falling victim of identity theft:
- Destroy all paper documentswith your personal data on after use.
Anything that comes through your letter box should be considered a risk. It’s crucial to appropriately dispose of documents that display sensitive information. A great way to achieve this is to shred your documents. The Style+ Cross Cut Shredder is perfect for home offices; to help dispose of confidential documents appropriately.
- Blank out names, addresses, and bank account numbers on important documents that you are storing, or before recycling or destroying your letters.
If you need to dispose of tangible documents with a large area of private or confidential information, it’s important to blank out the sensitive information. The Rexel JOY ID Guard is ideal for protecting any information on paper that you want to keep private.
- Create secure passwords on all accounts and update regularly – don’t leave them lying around for others to find!
To prevent someone hijacking your smartphone or laptop, ensure you use strong passwords. Use a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters, symbols and numbers to ensure maximum security. Also it’s important to use different passwords for different accounts – especially your online banking.
For more information on what you need to consider when protecting your identity at home, click here to see our fraud prevention infographic.
To stay up to date with the latest releases of our security and ID protection products, follow @rexeleurope on Twitter or visit our website www.rexeleurope.com.