ShredQuick Blog

How to Keep Your Identity Secure in St. Petersburg

A concerned looking person holding their head while looking at a sheet of paper. This image represents identity theft.Identity theft is not just a petty crime. In fact, fraudsters in the United States stole $56 billion from identity theft victims in 2020. Furthermore, Florida is ranked #4 in the United States for identity theft rates.

Even the most harmless tasks, such as making purchases over your phone and using free public WiFi, can put you at risk for identity theft.

For this reason, it’s important you understand how to keep your identity secure in St. Petersburg, Florida.

1. Review Your Bank Statements

Set time aside each month to take a close look at your monthly bank account statements. Check for purchases you don’t recognize, and make sure one of your friends or family isn’t the one who made the transaction. You can also easily view your debit and credit card activity online once a week.

2. Review Your Credit Card Report Regularly

Each year, you can get a free credit report from each of these three credit reporting agencies: 

  • Equifax
  • Experian
  • TransUnion

Rather than ordering them all at once, it’s a good idea to order one credit report every three months. Credit reports can help you scan for errors and notice potential cases of identity theft.

3. Confirm Accounts Associated with Your Name

Credit reports also show a listing of every credit card and loan you’ve had in the past. Take a look at each account and mark anything that looks suspicious. If you find an account you don’t remember creating, make a phone call to the credit agencies to let them know.

4. Shred Identifying Papers

It’s common practice for identity thieves to comb through garbage to look for financial documents with account numbers. That’s why it’s a good idea to shred documents that you no longer need.

5. Protect Your Computer

If you’re not using two-factor authentication on your crucial accounts, now’s the time to implement it. 

Two-factor authentication refers to a system used to verify your login with a code sent to your phone or authenticator app. Having this security protocol on your accounts reduces the risk of being hacked by identity thieves. 

6. Be Aware of Scammers

Scam artists often send official-looking emails or make a phone call as a fake representative for a bank or government institution. 

You should never give out personal information unless you’re the one who contacted the bank or institution. Make sure to confirm the email or phone number before reaching out, too.

7. Stay Secure with ShredQuick

Ready to protect your identity by properly disposing of documents? ShredQuick will drive to your on-site location in St. Petersburg with our shredding truck and destroy any personal documents you need us to. Give us a call today to request a free quote for services.

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