This week my mother was talking about ID theft. Several of her friends had their credit card information stolen and used. Fortunately, the credit card companies caught the fraud and helped each cancel the accounts. Mom is worried about her own credit and the safety of her accounts.
And well she should be.
Yesterday it was reported that even the First Lady, Michelle Obama, had her personal information hacked and posted on a website. Some are saying this may be a hoax though it is being reported as valid information. She’s not alone. Similar ID theft has happened to other celebrities including Beyonce, Mel Gibson and even former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The Obama’s are fortunate and have the Secret Service investigating. Other celebrities are able to get FBI response but for most of us it’s not so easy.
So, short of getting the Secret Service’s ear what can you do?
- If you do nothing else, you can become more aware of where you share personal information online and elsewhere.
- Make sure your wi-fi connections are secure.
- Monitor your bank and credit accounts. Many banks and credit card providers offer monitoring plans (sometimes at a cost.)
- Be sure to take advantage of the free annual credit reports from AnnualCreditReport.com and monitor your credit standing along with your free credit scores using Credit.com’s free Credit Report Card.
- For a fee you can enroll in a identity monitoring program.