4 Steps to Protect You From Identity Theft

You pay your bills on time. You budget. You stay within your means. You plan for the future.

However, while enjoying a cup of coffee on a Saturday morning and checking out your credit card statement, you see a $1,799 charge for a new 4k TV. You just purchased a new TV last year. It’s currently on right now in the background. You show the charge to your wife, and it’s no surprise when she says she doesn’t know anything about it. 

So who bought it? Your digital identity did. 

Maybe you’ve had your identity stolen before, or maybe someone you care about has gone through it already. The most recent study from the US Department of Justice found that 17.6 million people nationwide experienced some form of identity theft in 2014. The average financial loss for those people was $1,343, resulting in a net loss of $15.4 billion in 2014 alone. 

But the good news is, there are simple things you can do—right now—to help prevent identity theft from happening to your family.

Go Paperless

Printed financial documents are still easy targets for identity thieves, so avoid them where you can. For Community Bank customers, eStatements are available with any banking account that will help limit your financial paper trail. Login to your online banking account and sign up today!

Shred Paper Documents

Documents with your financial information on them can’t be just thrown away. Identify thieves dig for these documents to learn account numbers, addresses, and phone numbers hoping to parlay that info into access. If you’ve gone paperless, this won’t apply as much. But you should still make shredding documents a part of your routine when disposing of any important documents.

Carry Fewer Cards

Just as you reduce your amount of paper documents, reduce your number of physical cards by using a mobile wallet. Mobile payment solutions like Samsung, Android or Apple Play add layers of protection to your information. 

Monitor Your Account Online

The simplest way to keep an eye on your finances is to set up online banking. And now you can even create a new Community Bank account online for safe, secure banking—without the sensitive paperwork.

Plus, with a mobile banking app like ours at Community Bank (available on iTunes or Google), you can manage your money while tracking your account activity, and set up alerts designed to detect any suspicious purchases.

These steps amount to mere minutes of work on your end to help prevent identity theft, and they fit with who you are—someone who budgets and plans for the future. Now, back to that morning cup of joe and your regularly scheduled programming on the TV that’s actually yours!

No minimum balance and no monthly service fees. Click here to learn about the benefits of a Carefree Checking account with CBNA.

Personal Finance

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