Guard Yourself Against Identity Thieves: Top Tips from MilSpouse Money Mission

Protect yourself when using public wifi.

Coffee shops, along with other public Wi-Fi network locations, can make you vulnerable to identity theft so use these tips to be vigilant and protect your personal information. Brittany, a MilSpouse from Fort Carson, Colorado discovered errors on her credit report during a credit check several years ago. At that point, she took advantage of the many ways to prevent this from happening again.  Read more about her story. As the saying goes, the best defense is a great offense!

Ways to Defend Yourself Against ID Theft:

Here are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft:

  • Safeguard mail
    Be sure to collect your mail regularly if your mailbox doesn’t have a key. Contact the post office and put your mail on hold if you will be out of town for an extended period.
  • Beware of public Wi-Fi
    If you must use public Wi-Fi, like at a coffee shop or airport, use a VPN. Hackers take advantage of the low security and easy access that often accompanies public Wi-Fi, placing malicious software (malware) on your computer that can steal user IDs, passwords, and more.
  • Secure your wallet or purse
    Using a locker at the gym or a locking desk drawer at work is a great way to secure your wallet or purse while you’re occupied with other tasks. Be sure to safeguard these items when you’re out in public.
  • Save receipts
    Keeping receipts is a great way to verify the accuracy of banking statements and keep an eye on your spending. Receipts can also contain valuable information for ID thieves, so be sure to shred receipts once you’ve reconciled statements and no longer require proof of purchase.
  • Review account statements
    Be sure to take a few minutes to review transactions whenever you receive financial statements. Call the financial institution immediately if you find any questionable or erroneous charges.
  • Shred documents
    Shred old investment, banking, medical or credit statements instead of tossing them in the trash or recycling bin.  Shredding these statements is a great way to keep your personal information private and prevent identity thieves from accessing documents that could give them access to your credit.
  • Notify creditors of address updates
    Members of the military and their families are no strangers to moving so be sure you to notify all creditors. If you owe someone money, they need to know your new address. It’s easy for identity thieves to access your information if your bills or statements continue to go to an old address or vacant house.
  • Consider placing active-duty alerts or security freezes before deployment
    Encourage your spouse to contact the three credit bureaus before deployment to place an active-duty alert or freeze on his or her credit report. This is a great way to mitigate risk while deployed because all new or suspicious activity that occurs during deployment would be flagged immediately.

At MilSpouse Money Mission, we are committed to helping you learn more about identity protection and identity theft remediation. Follow us on social media and visit the new consumer protection section of our website to learn more about identity theft, learn tips for correcting mistakes on your credit report, and more.

 

MilSpouse Money Mission® is a Department of Defense resource that offers FREE personal financial education specifically geared toward spouses. There is a Money Ready guide for various stages of financial life, a MilLife Milestones section to help you through the big moments in your military journey, a blog, spouse videos, quizzes, calculators and more!

 

 

 

Primary Text Separator for Milspouse Money Mission, Financial Education for Military Spouses

MilLife Milestones

Primary Text Separator for Milspouse Money Mission, Financial Education for Military Spouses
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Protect yourself when using public wifi.

Coffee shops, along with other public Wi-Fi network locations, can make you vulnerable to identity theft so use these tips to be vigilant and protect your personal information. Brittany, a MilSpouse from Fort Carson, Colorado discovered errors on her credit report during a credit check several years ago. At that point, she took advantage of the many ways to prevent this from happening again.  Read more about her story. As the saying goes, the best defense is a great offense!

Ways to Defend Yourself Against ID Theft:

Here are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft:

  • Safeguard mail
    Be sure to collect your mail regularly if your mailbox doesn’t have a key. Contact the post office and put your mail on hold if you will be out of town for an extended period.
  • Beware of public Wi-Fi
    If you must use public Wi-Fi, like at a coffee shop or airport, use a VPN. Hackers take advantage of the low security and easy access that often accompanies public Wi-Fi, placing malicious software (malware) on your computer that can steal user IDs, passwords, and more.
  • Secure your wallet or purse
    Using a locker at the gym or a locking desk drawer at work is a great way to secure your wallet or purse while you’re occupied with other tasks. Be sure to safeguard these items when you’re out in public.
  • Save receipts
    Keeping receipts is a great way to verify the accuracy of banking statements and keep an eye on your spending. Receipts can also contain valuable information for ID thieves, so be sure to shred receipts once you’ve reconciled statements and no longer require proof of purchase.
  • Review account statements
    Be sure to take a few minutes to review transactions whenever you receive financial statements. Call the financial institution immediately if you find any questionable or erroneous charges.
  • Shred documents
    Shred old investment, banking, medical or credit statements instead of tossing them in the trash or recycling bin.  Shredding these statements is a great way to keep your personal information private and prevent identity thieves from accessing documents that could give them access to your credit.
  • Notify creditors of address updates
    Members of the military and their families are no strangers to moving so be sure you to notify all creditors. If you owe someone money, they need to know your new address. It’s easy for identity thieves to access your information if your bills or statements continue to go to an old address or vacant house.
  • Consider placing active-duty alerts or security freezes before deployment
    Encourage your spouse to contact the three credit bureaus before deployment to place an active-duty alert or freeze on his or her credit report. This is a great way to mitigate risk while deployed because all new or suspicious activity that occurs during deployment would be flagged immediately.

At MilSpouse Money Mission, we are committed to helping you learn more about identity protection and identity theft remediation. Follow us on social media and visit the new consumer protection section of our website to learn more about identity theft, learn tips for correcting mistakes on your credit report, and more.

 

MilSpouse Money Mission® is a Department of Defense resource that offers FREE personal financial education specifically geared toward spouses. There is a Money Ready guide for various stages of financial life, a MilLife Milestones section to help you through the big moments in your military journey, a blog, spouse videos, quizzes, calculators and more!

 

 

 

Team Member

We are team of financial professionals who understand military life because we have experienced military life. Our goal is to educate and empower military spouses to help them make smart money moves. We combine passion and expertise to ensure you get the most accurate and relevant information. Take comfort knowing Certified Financial Planner™ professionals, an Accredited Financial Counselor® and the Department of Defense Office of Financial Readiness have vetted the content on this site.

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Primary Text Separator for Milspouse Money Mission, Financial Education for Military Spouses

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Primary Text Separator for Milspouse Money Mission, Financial Education for Military Spouses
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