In 2020, 47 percent of Americans experienced some form of financial identity theft. Scammers can open bank accounts, apply for credit cards or loans, go on shopping sprees, and set up cell phone services—all in your name! Simply having a Social Security number puts you at risk for identity theft!
If you are applying for loans or cash lending services, it’s important that you protect your information. How exactly? Keep reading to learn ways to protect your information when applying to cash advance lenders.
Secure Your Personal Items
First, you don’t want your personal information to get into the wrong hands. Think about if you have roommates or have outside help in your home. Watch what you put in the trash and be sure to shred or tear up your sensitive materials like medical statements, charge receipts, credit offers, credit applications, insurance forms, bank statements, or checks.
Don’t throw expired debit or credit cards in the trash—make sure you cut up the numbers.
At work, make sure if you fill out any forms they are maintained properly, and your sensitive documents are shredded when disposed of. If you are mailing checks, take them to the post office collection box, and don’t put them in your mailbox. You should also ask to pick up your checks rather them having them mailed.
Be sure to gather your mail from your mailbox each day. You don’t want to leave offers in your mailbox for thieves to grab.
You should limit what you carry. Only carry the identification, credit cards, and debit cards you need. Keep all your other items in a secured place to avoid losing something in public.
Avoid Public WiFi
Free public WiFi can open up networks to make it easy for scammers to connect to your device and gather your information. You should never access any financial information on an unsecured WiFi connection. It’s best to wait until you are on a secured network at home or work.
Use a Password Manager
You want to make sure all your passwords are secure. You should create long, unique, and secure passwords for each of your accounts, including your bank accounts, loans, and email. Never use passwords that are related to your identity such as your birthday, initials, parts of your name, or your Social Security number. It’s also important to update and change your passwords regularly.
Sure, remembering complex passwords can be difficult, but instead of storing your passwords in your browser, use a password manager. Storing them in your browser leaves them vulnerable to malware and other attacks.
Password managers encrypt and store your private information that you can easily access. Most of these password managers have a fee and are available for a subscription.
Review Your Bank and Credit Card Statements Regularly
It’s important to keep a close eye on all your accounts. Thieves may start making small charges to see if they can get away with it before making a larger transaction. It’s easier for small transactions to go unnoticed. If you see something odd, contact your financial institution immediately.
Review Your Credit Reports Yearly
In addition to reviewing your bank and credit card statements, you should also check your credit reports. Don’t worry—reviewing your credit score does not hurt your credit. You can easily access your credit reports from the main credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax) online.
You can also request your free annual credit reports by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com. Make sure you look at them closely for any errors such as unknown accounts.
Protect Your Online Information
Be careful what you share online and on social media. Avoid posting information like your birthdate. You should never give out any personal or financial information on a website unless it is secure. This means you should look for the “https” in the address bar instead of “http.” The “s” means secure.
You should also look at the padlock in the address bar and make sure it is closed and not broken. You can right-click on the padlock to make sure it is up to date.
Also, when you want to find cash loan lenders, do your research to make they are reputable before providing information. You should visit the web address on your own and look for security features instead of clicking on links in emails. These emails could be a phishing scam that looks like a real site, but really it is gathering your personal information.
Invest in Security Software
It’s important to make sure your devices are protected with antivirus and malware software. This software can detect attempts to access your personal information and neutralize them. Be sure you complete all updates on time because there could be security patches.
Clean Your Old Electronics Before Selling or Donating
Make sure you delete all your files from your electronics like computers and devices. Hitting delete does not get rid of these files entirely. You can go back to factory settings and use overwriting software that wipes out all the hardware and also transfers your data from your old computer to your new one.
Need Cash Lending Services?
Now that you know how to protect yourself against identity theft, you must be vigilant. Watch your accounts and be sure to check your credit reports annually.
Finding you need some cash and looking for cash loans or quick cash loans with bad credit? Guarantee Loan can help you with cash lending services in Texas. We can help you get cash quickly.
Give us a call today—we would be glad to help you, or you can apply online at one of our 10 Texas locations. Follow these tips when you apply and your personal information is safe with us!