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  • 5 Ways to Improve Your Personal Identity Theft Protection

    Identity theft is a huge issue that affects thousands of people every day. In fact, it is the #1 online crime committed. While you can’t eliminate the risk completely, you can manage it and drastically reduce your chances by implementing effective identity theft protection measures.

    The following 5 ways are things you should be do to protect yourself online.

    1. Purchase an all-inclusive online security protection service
    There are ways to manual ways to keep tabs on all of your personal information that is captured online, but it can be very time consuming. Fortunately, there are economical and effective services available to help protect you. The online security packages by Windstream offer comprehensive identity theft protection that monitors all online activity involving your personal information and can help address and care for any problems should they occur.

    2. Be cautious when disclosing personal information online
    Before giving out personal information online, make sure you are using a trusted source. More and more consumers prefer online shopping over traditional shopping because of the convenience and selection offered. Only buy from reputable merchants when making online purchases. You can increase your protection by using trusted 3rd party e-wallets like Paypal. When using this service, merchants never see your sensitive financial information which adds in an extra level of security.

    3. Protect your computer from viruses
    Believe it or not, viruses can actually access personal information stored on your computer. This could include passwords and credit card numbers, along with other stored personal information that could be used for identity theft. In order to protect yourself you need virus protection that runs on a consistent basis. Windstream offers McAfee Anti-Virus protection as part of their low-cost security packages to help secure your information and put your mind at ease.

    4. Keep sensitive information in a safe place 
    If you have children you know the damage that could be done if they find your credit cards or other personal information. It doesn’t take long for a kid to get online and find things they want to buy without knowing the full repercussions of their actions. Prevent this from happening by keeping your wallet or purse in a safe place where it is not accessible by children when you aren’t present.

    5. Research merchants before buying
    While the internet is a fantastic tool and resource, you should still be careful of the information you disclose online. Before buying or signing up for a service on a website that you are not familiar with, do yourself a favor and research the company first. Spending 10 minutes reading links from a simple search of the company may save you a ton of time and money in the future. Often just reviewing search results will provide you all the information you need.

    If you stay alert and follow the above 5 tips, your protection against identity theft will put you one step ahead of most thieves.