A 2014 Federal Trade Commission study found that identity theft tops the list of consumer complaints. Adults ages 20 to 29, part of the Millennial generation, are often the most at risk for identity theft–comprising one-fifth of the complaints to the agency in 2014. Changing the way you think about online security and the way you act can help protect you from being a victim of identity theft while still enjoying the conveniences of online shopping and banking. Here are a few ways to improve your security, no matter your age.
Public Wi-Fi Isn't for banking: Seventy-two percent of millennials admit to having conducted banking on public Wi-Fi. It’s an easy mistake to make–the abilities to check your account balance and transfer funds at any time are huge perks. Just make sure you use an app with a secure, encrypted connection rather than your web browser to connect to your accounts.
Keep on Top of Your Accounts: One of the surprising findings in a 2014 study on fraud by Javelin Strategy and Research was that up to 20 percent of students who had been victims of fraud were unaware of it until they were contacted by collection agencies. The solution? Review your bank account and credit card statements and look for unfamiliar transactions. Check your credit report once a year (you’re entitled to a free annual credit check) and make sure there aren’t any surprises waiting for you. Find out more about understanding your credit report from Navy Federal.
Leave No Trace: Log off from your online banking session, empty your cache and don’t save passwords in your browser. It’s also a good precaution to log out of any social media accounts when you log on to your online financial account. Hackers can combine personal info from your social media accounts with pieces of your bank account info to form a more complete picture of your online identity. Get more information from Navy Federal Credit Union about protecting yourself from credit and debit card fraud, as well as online and mobile security. We’re here to help you stay safe, and if the worst does happen, we’ll be here to help you repair your credit as well.
This article is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.