Identity Theft Protection Tips

cloud servicesData breaches of personally identifiable information have unfortuantely become more common these days and can lead to identity theft.  While organizations do their best to protect against cybersecurity attacks and data leaks, what can you do to protect yourself?

Help Protect Yourself

  1. Enroll in an identity theft monitoring service
  2. Freeze your credit
  3. File your tax returns quickly each tax season
    • Filing as soon as possible prevents criminals from filing fraudulent tax returns in your name and getting a check mailed to them instead of you, as they will file for a refund, not pay your bill.  You can also get an Identity Protection PIN from the IRS so that nobody else can file a return in your name without also using that special PIN.
  4. Register your online accounts with government agencies
  5. Monitor your financial statements more closely
    • Review your bank account statements more closely for suspicious transactions and enable fraud alerts if your bank supports them, immediately report anything suspicious to your financial institution.
  6. Be mindful of your passwords and account reset questions
    • Don’t use passwords or account recovery secret questions/answers that can be inferred from your personal information. Consider using randomly generated input unique to each online account instead and store answers in a secure password manager, such as LastPass Enterprise offered to active UCI members.  Also enable multi-factor authentication on all online accounts that support it.
  7. Watch out for threatening emails or phone calls
    • Watch out for suspicious emails or social engineering attempts to threaten you into giving criminals money. Do not respond to them or click any links, and forward it to if related to UCI.