With many Britons still working their way through their summer holiday check lists, with September fast approaching, Experian has some helpful tips for something many may not yet have considered ñ protecting your identity.
In the same way you take a few simple steps to protect yourself from the sun, these easy-remember tips can help protect you and your family from identity theft, which can result in a nasty holiday hangover if your information gets into the wrong hands.
1. Pack light ñ Handbags and wallets often contain lots of items containing personally-identifiable information that you wonít need on holidays. These could prove to be a goldmine for fraudsters, so do a clear-out of your handbag and wallet, removing items such as bills, receipts, out-date driving licences and medical prescriptions.
2. Stay in the shade ñ Donít expose your information unnecessarily. Avoid unsecured Wi-Fi networks and public computers if you are doing anything which requires you to share personal passwords or financial information. If you have no other option, remember to check these sites are encrypted (indicated by a padlock symbol and the letters ìhttps:î). Always log out after use.
3. Apply sunscreen regularly ñ Regularly updating your antivirus and firewalls for devices is the most simple form of protection. However, as with sunscreen, many of us forget to effectively reapply. This type of software is updated with patches for specific bugs regularly, so by not updating your software, you run the risk of having gaps in your protection.
4. Donít get burnt ñ Identity fraudsters operate to make money and so one of the first ways you can spot fraudulent activity is by closely monitoring your credit report. If you spot any unusual activity and suspect that it may be an indication of identity theft, you can contact the Experian Victims of Fraud team who will appoint a dedicated case-worker to investigate and, if necessary, resolve any fraudulent activity not only to protect your bank balance, but also your credit rating.
5. Check your credit report regularly – Make sure everything is accurate and up to date, and query anything that isn’t. Your credit report can highlight irregularities such as suspect applications for credit and rises in card balances. You can see your Experian credit report and score whenever you want with CreditExpert membership.
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