tips to protect identity

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eelwood
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:55 am

tips to protect identity

Post by eelwood » Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:51 am

Can you all list out things you do to protect your identity from theft? In the past I had my credit card number skimmed (I think) at a gas station, so we pay for gas with cash only (USAA/VISA noticed off purchases quickly). Someone got a Verizon plan under my wife's name and purchased a lot of stuff (still unclear how or what, and we caught it on a credit report from Equifax as a behind payment) - we were made whole in both, but a police officer came out to our house and did a formal report as part of the process.

A few things we have done, please suggest more:
- we recycle passwords (USAA, Vanguard, etc) at least every 6 months, they're all different, long, complex, and on a piece of paper in a drawer and no where else
- we froze credit at Equifax, Transunion, Experian
- we have a single credit card between us, but we do use it for pretty much everything short of gas
- smart enough to avoid phishing, and all manner of malicious hyperlinks (I hope); Norton antivirus software, for what its worth.
- credit report from one of the big three every 4 months

Also, we have a two kids, 2y and 5y; anything to do for them?

thanks

wilshuer
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:40 pm

Re: tips to protect identity

Post by wilshuer » Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:41 am

Beyond the big three agencies, freeze at the others too. Chexsystems and a few other smaller ones.

Skimmers are pretty much everywhere, so hard to watch out for beyond a quick check when paying through a gas pump, vending machine, etc. We had a stretch where gas stations around us were hit hard for over a year, had cards picked up three different times. Check cards daily as a morning routine. We use an assortment of cards to maximize the rewards, gas one is specific for gas (due to rewards and highest likelihood of being skimmed).

Citi is nice with virtual cards for online, have most autopays set up,with a different number. The Citi physical card never leaves our hands, so if it’s taken then we know it was through online.

I’ve frozen both of my young kids reports too.

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Rob5TCP
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Location: New York, NY

Re: tips to protect identity

Post by Rob5TCP » Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:45 am

In addition to one credit card: a new feature is virtual credit card.
Since most of my purchases are online, a virtual c.c. gives me the option
of setting up a SEPARATE credit card number for each vendor. So, if someone
gets my c.c. # for ABC company it will only work at ABC company.

An additional feature of this, I can easily turn each c.c. number on/off
with a couple of clicks. So, most of these numbers I set to off (except for those
sites that are set to automatic payments each month,


https://www.capitalone.com/learn-grow/t ... ade-easier

blueman457
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Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 12:19 pm

Re: tips to protect identity

Post by blueman457 » Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:50 am

To help prevent credit card fraud, I use Apple Pay as much as possible. It generates a one time token for each transaction so the merchant never sees your actual credit card number. Within the next few years, hopefully more contactless terminals will be rolled out so I can use it everywhere.

Blue Man

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F150HD
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Re: tips to protect identity

Post by F150HD » Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:52 am

Freezing is the big thing, tons of threads on that during the equifax debacle a year back.

My ATM card is only that, its not a 'debit' card too, never will be. Someone stealing an ATM/Debit can drain your bank account at a store (or at least hit the daily limit a few times) and then your checks and any automatic payments you have (mortgage?) could bounce. There's always someone who argues against this, but to me using a normal credit card seems far more wiser for protection as then your actual $$ in your bank account isn't open to theft.

YMMV

stlrick
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Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:37 pm

Re: tips to protect identity

Post by stlrick » Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:07 am

In addition to the big three, have frozen Innovis and Chex Systems. Currently looking into freeze with NCTUNE (telecom and utilities exchange).

You need more than one credit card. My wife just had an attempted fraudulent use on a card in her name. Right now, we are waiting for the replacement in the mail. I was able to hand her another card to use while we wait. If you have only one card, this can happen at a very inconvenient time. The card I use for ATM is used for nothing else, and not carried unless I anticipate needing it.

Pay all bills by online push at the individual credit card or mortgage company site. No pulls, no auto payments. Use a Chromebook for all financial transactions, and use that machine for nothing else - no email, web searching, etc. I check the 8 relevant sites (bank, credit cards, retirement accounts, Vanguard) every morning. Takes less than 10 minutes. Always take credit card receipts and always reconcile the statement against the receipts when the account closes for the month.

eelwood
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Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:55 am

Re: tips to protect identity

Post by eelwood » Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:20 am

Thanks for replies. a few new questions:

1. I haven't tried yet, but one post suggests freezing credit for the kids - any limitations on doing this through any of the companies? Do I need to make it clear somehow that I am a parent doing that for the kids?

2. any value to paying for things like Verizon Bill, electric bill so on via old fashion check?

i will look into the other things mentioned, thanks

shell921
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:13 pm

Re: tips to protect identity

Post by shell921 » Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:21 am

stlrick wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:07 am
In addition to the big three, have frozen Innovis and Chex Systems. Currently looking into freeze with NCTUNE (telecom and utilities exchange).

You need more than one credit card. My wife just had an attempted fraudulent use on a card in her name. Right now, we are waiting for the replacement in the mail. I was able to hand her another card to use while we wait. If you have only one card, this can happen at a very inconvenient time. The card I use for ATM is used for nothing else, and not carried unless I anticipate needing it.

Pay all bills by online push at the individual credit card or mortgage company site. No pulls, no auto payments. Use a Chromebook for all financial transactions, and use that machine for nothing else - no email, web searching, etc. I check the 8 relevant sites (bank, credit cards, retirement accounts, Vanguard) every morning. Takes less than 10 minutes. Always take credit card receipts and always reconcile the statement against the receipts when the account closes for the month.
Good point about needing more than one card. My late husband and I were checking into a hotel back in 2010 and our main credit card was refused.
Luckily we had another ! He had all our bills on autopay and when he died in 104 I took everything off autopay except cell phone bill and pet insurance bill. I don't like autopay but the pet insurance place requires it and Cricket Wireless gives me a $5 a month discount for autopay.

stlrick
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Re: tips to protect identity

Post by stlrick » Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:38 am

eelwood wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:20 am
Thanks for replies. a few new questions:

2. any value to paying for things like Verizon Bill, electric bill so on via old fashion check?

No advantage that I can see. I pay Verizon same way I pay credit cards - by going to the site - verizonwireless.com - and authorizing payment to a credit card. For sites like that (another one is State Farm for insurance), I make sure they have a record of only one credit card, or better, I do not keep any credit card on record. For electric bill, I use mycheckfree.com.

wilshuer
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:40 pm

Re: tips to protect identity

Post by wilshuer » Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:42 am

eelwood wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:20 am
Thanks for replies. a few new questions:

1. I haven't tried yet, but one post suggests freezing credit for the kids - any limitations on doing this through any of the companies? Do I need to make it clear somehow that I am a parent doing that for the kids?

2. any value to paying for things like Verizon Bill, electric bill so on via old fashion check?

i will look into the other things mentioned, thanks
It may depend on your state whether you're allowed to or not. It's a little more work, need to send a printed letter and a few items for proof of ID. Some may feel not worth it, I felt it was worthwhile for my kid's sake and headaches I went trough having to fix an issue in my own report at the age of 18.

Here is a Clark Howard article with links to the big three and their process. Most likely your kids won't have a record until your submit the request, then they'll generate a record and freeze it.

https://clark.com/personal-finance-cred ... for-child/

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BolderBoy
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Location: Colorado

Re: tips to protect identity

Post by BolderBoy » Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:00 am

eelwood wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:51 am
- we recycle passwords (USAA, Vanguard, etc) at least every 6 months, they're all different, long, complex, and on a piece of paper in a drawer and no where else
My #1 way to protect my identity is to always use someone else's...

Just kidding. But in re: recycling passwords... Instead of storing them on a piece of paper anywhere, look into using a password manager - google: keepass, lastpass, 1password and such. MUCH safer. Also, the research folks have shown that changing a long, complex password - that is unique to one usage only - is largely unnecessary.
- we froze credit at Equifax, Transunion, Experian
Excellent. Single most important thing to do.
Also, we have a two kids, 2y and 5y; anything to do for them?
Yes. Except for using their SSNs on your tax returns, divulge their SSNs to no one.
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect

Island John
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Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:53 pm

Re: tips to protect identity

Post by Island John » Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:41 pm

My wife and I each have a credit card that we use for daily purchases. We have a third credit card that is only used for auto-pay. That card never leaves the house.

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