Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America, and college campuses aren’t immune – in fact, they’re a prime hotspot for cyber thieves. Whether you’re fresh out of high school or a returning student, it’s easy to fall victim to this real problem. As this generation is plugged in more than ever to tablets, smartphones, and tablets, we're dishing up our top 5 tips to help protect yourself against identity theft when you arrive on campus this fall.
Lock your door. One of the best ways to keep your electronic devices safe is to look your door when you leave. Break the habit of not shutting the door or not even closing it when you’re just down the hall or at class across campus.
Log out. Today’s generation is all about app, apps, apps. But many users tend to leave their phone apps open to personal information when they’re done. If that device lands in the wrong hands, it can only take a few seconds thieves to do their damage. Reversely, it only takes a few seconds to log in. Get in the practice of logging out and logging in.
Update software. Another easy tactic to keep scammers at bay is to update your devices with the anti-virus software, if possible. Be sure to read the privacy guidelines that come with apps and computer software before you download them.
Be careful on social media. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram…the list of social media sites is never-ending. But did you know that with your name, address, and birthday, some scammers may be able to buy your social security number on websites? In fact, with your birthday and hometown, thieves can often guess all of your digits. You may want to think twice about posting your birthdate on your profile.
Be smart about passwords. You can make it easy on you, but tough on identity theft thieves by frequently changing your passwords. Refrain from passwords that include your birthdate, zip code or phone number, instead using a phrase or a combination of unique letters and numbers.
All your life you’ve been working hard to protect your reputation, but it can be gone in a flash if your identity is stolen. Connect with a Farm Bureau Agent to learn more about Farm Bureau Financial Services' Identity Theft Protection.