Tips for protecting your financial identity

September 4, 2015 | Dan Colt

Have you ever considered how the clothes you wear, where you live, and what credit cards you use impact your identity? Your spending habits, including what areas you shop in and what retailers you frequent, create your financial identity. While being aware of your spending patterns is one way that you can protect your financial identity, here are a few additional tips I’ve come up that you can use in your everyday life:

Create complex passwords or PINS

When logging into your bank account online, consider creating a complex password that will carry some sort of significance for you (like an acronym or mental picture). Strong passwords typically include uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. If you’re curious about other ways to protect your financial identity online, read my previous blog post on computer security.

Know your billing cycle

Knowing when your billing notices arrive via email or direct mail is important. Not only will you pay your bills on time, but you’ll be able to track if a bill doesn’t arrive in your mailbox when it’s supposed to. Make sure to contact your provider if this happens.

Check your statements

You know your spending habits better than anyone. Check your bank statements or transactions online, especially during the holidays when you may be visiting retailers you normally don’t visit throughout the year.

Don’t give out personal information: If someone you don’t know emails or calls you to ask for your Social Security Number or other personal information, don’t give it out. You should be initiating these conversations, not the other way around.

Know what your financial institution is doing to protect your financial identity

financial institutions are updating their login systems to provide even better service for their customers. These upgrades may include stronger security questions and a confidence image (an image you chose to appear on your screen when you login) and passphrase (a phrase you chose to correspond with the image or yourself).

Knowing what your financial institution does to protect your financial identity may be one of the factors you consider when choosing the right financial institution for you. Please visit any of our branches or contact us via phone or email to discover what it means to have Mission Fed as part of your financial identity.

Additional source:
https://www.usa.gov/identity-theft#item-206114

This article contains a link for a website that Mission Fed does not control. Mission Fed is not responsible and does not assume liability for the operations, content, links, privacy or security policies of third party websites.

Dan Colt

Dan Colt

Dan Colt is VP Technology Management at Mission Federal Credit Union. He has over 25 years of experience in the Information Technology industry, including numerous aspects such as security, data processing, disaster recovery and project management.

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