ID Theft Prevention

Identity thieves have numerous tactics they use to target you and steal your identity. But there are steps you can take to keep your personal information out of their hands in the first place. Explore our fraud prevention tips and take action to avoid becoming a victim.

Fight fraud by taking proactive steps to protect yourself.

Identity theft has become one of the fastest-growing crimes in America. While no one can completely prevent identity theft from happening, there are steps that you can take to secure your identity and protect your finances, benefits, and reputation from scammers.

Fraud Prevention Tips

To help prevent identity theft, you need to stop criminals from accessing your personal information, online accounts, and devices. Here’s what you can do to secure yourself and your family from identity thieves.

Freeze Your Credit File

A credit freeze blocks access to your credit reports, preemptively preventing fraudsters from opening new accounts in your name. But there’s one caveat: You need to freeze your credit with all three major credit bureaus individually (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion). If you only freeze your credit with one or two, scammers may still be able to open accounts in your name. Learn more by visiting our Resolution Center.

Use a Secure Password Manager

With access to your passwords, malicious actors can gain access to your accounts and wreak havoc on your personal life, financial accounts, credit score, and reputation. A password manager helps store your passwords securely so that you don’t risk losing them or having them stolen by hackers. A manager also helps you remember all of your passwords rather than writing them down in unsafe places, like on slips of paper. Try Aura’s s password manager by signing up for a 14-day free trial.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Two- or multi-factor authentication (2FA and MFA) provides a second layer of defense against hackers. With 2FA enabled, your accounts require a secondary security measure before you can log in — for example, a one-time-use code sent to your email, or biometric security such as your fingerprints.

Beware of Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks happen when scammers impersonate someone you trust (usually a well-known company or government agency) so that they can steal your money, passwords, or identity. Phishing attacks can occur over email, phone calls, SMS, social media, and fake websites. Warning signs of a phishing attack include:

  • Spelling and grammatical mistakes.
  • Unprofessional-looking email addresses.
  • Requests for personal information.
  • High-pressure tactics.

Practice Safe Browsing Habits

Cybercriminals are constantly looking for ways to steal your information while you browse online. With safe browsing habits, you can avoid the dangers of unsecured networks, compromised websites, and online traps set by hackers. Here are some tips to stay safe online:

  • Use a virtual private network (VPN) when browsing, shopping, banking, or going online in public.
  • Only access websites starting with HTTPS. These websites display a padlock next to the URL in the address bar, letting you know they’re secure.
  • Don’t use public Wi-Fi.

Check Your Bank and Credit Card Statements

Credit card fraud has become one of the most common cybersecurity threats today. In October 2022, a marketplace on the Dark Web offered to give away the credit card details of nearly 1.2 million people [*]. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find out whether your credit card details are for sale (or have been sold already). That’s why it’s important to monitor your credit and bank account statements. If you spot fraudulent activity or unauthorized withdrawals, you can act quickly to minimize the damage.

Limit What Info You Share Online

Every time you add personal information to online profiles or post to social media, you’re giving clues that can be used to scam you or break into your online accounts. Your shopping history, browsing habits, search history, social media comments, fitness data, newsletters, and even “private” messages can be used to fuel phishing scams or guess your passwords. Reduce the amount of info available about you online by:

  • Considering sharing less information about yourself in general.
  • Adjusting your privacy settings.
  • Deleting old accounts, apps, and data.

Remove Your Info From Data Broker Lists

Even if you remove your personal information from online sources, companies may have already collected it and added it to their databases. These “data brokers” (sometimes called “people search sites”) sell your information to anyone, from telemarketers to scammers. The bad news is that there are hundreds of data brokers in the United States alone, making it a complex task to remove your personal information. Aura can automatically scrub your info from many of these sights for you. Try Aura for free for 14 days.

Keep Your Devices and Software Up to Date

Software and device updates often include security patches that guard against the latest hacks, viruses, and malware. Because of this, hackers often target vulnerabilities in out-of-date software and devices. If malware successfully infects your system, it might harvest your data without you even knowing it. Here’s what to do:

  • Set up automatic updates.
  • Install reputable antivirus software.
  • Only install trustworthy apps and software.

Was your identity stolen?

Aura’s Fraud Resolution Experts are on standby at 1-844-987-0705 to help you place fraud alerts, deal with creditors, and make your identity yours again.

Get proactive protection to help stop fraud before it happens.

Fraud is on the rise and cybercriminals are getting even more sophisticated in their tactics. Aura can help. Safeguard your and your loved ones’ personal information by signing up for a free trial today!