How to stay protected
So, if you have a few of these concerns on your mind, fear not – there’s steps you can take to stay protected. Start by following these best practices:
• Review your account info. Regularly reviewing online bank/credit account transactions can help you spot suspicious activities or purchases. If you do stumble upon something fishy, be sure to report it to your bank or credit institution immediately. Most banks these days also have a way to report suspicious transactions directly in your list of transactions.
• Consider using McAfee® Identity Theft Protection. An identity theft protection service can monitor your accounts, alert you of potential problems, provide reimbursement options if you’re a victim of ID theft and help you regain your peace of mind and get remediation guidance to recover from identity theft.
• Shred all sensitive documents, both online and offline. While shredding physical bank statements and other sensitive documents can help prevent offline identity theft, it’s also important to “shred” sensitive files as well like PDFs of tax returns and bank statements should a hacker gain access to your PC. Typically, when you delete a file, it isn’t entirely gone; instead, that part of your storage is marked as available to be overwritten with new data. Unfortunately, this means that a savvy hacker could reconstruct the file even if it’s been deleted. Fortunately, antivirus suites like McAfee® Total Protection include file shredding capabilities, which effectively make deleted files unrecoverable, often up to military-grade deletion standards.
• Encrypt sensitive files on your PC. Similar to shredding sensitive files you no longer need, using a file encryption tool like File Lock in McAfee® Total Protection. By placing sensitive files that you need to keep in your password-protected File Lock Vault, you can keep them hidden from potential thieves and hackers.
• Report missing identification cards. Most criminal identity thieves get your information from stealing your personally identifiable information (PII) from physical cards like your driver’s license, Social Security card or Identification card. If you report a missing driver license, your state might flag your license number and in the event that another driver is pulled over by law enforcement and presents your license as their own they could be questioned for further information
• Get a background check on yourself. If you feel like someone may be impersonating you, get a background check done. This can be done via online services or by a private investigator.
• Check State and National criminal databases. Search your name in criminal databases like the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database to see if you have a criminal record you’re unaware of.