How To Protect Your Credit
Five tips to protect yourself and your credit
Consumers can keep their credit rating safe and be vigilant for any possible credit report problems with these tips.
Research has proven that the US is the most credit fraud-prone country in the world.
The past few years have borne witness to unprecedented levels of credit fraud and identity theft. This post discusses some tips that can help you protect your credit and keep your financial holdings safe from any unscrupulous persons.
1. Monitor your credit
Keep an eye on your credit report and watch out for unexpected changes.
Your credit report contains details about your credit lines, the types of credit lines you’ve taken out, credit agreements, and other types of information that can be used to derive your credit score.
These determine whether you can obtain a loan, mortgage, credit card, car, or any other credit product. It’s worth every bit of attention.
Unexplained falling credit scores, strange credit cards, new accounts, and reckless financial habits on your report are strong indicators that something is amiss and your creditworthiness could be impacted.
Besides checking your credit report on your own regularly, you can kick your watchfulness a tier higher by applying for automated credit monitoring. It involves using a credit monitoring service to track changes in borrower behavior and purchase patterns. The service prevents fraud and identity theft by alerting the consumer of new accounts opened and heavy purchases made.
In turn, this prevents fraud and identity theft.
2. Utilize virtual card numbers
Another excellent way to protect your credit is by using virtual card numbers.
Cybercriminals typically infiltrate online stores and e-commerce websites and lie in wait for unsuspecting customers who visit those sites to make purchases.
With virtual card numbers, rest assured that your credit details are safe from prying eyes when you make orders on such platforms.
This is because virtual card numbers are one-time tokens tied to a particular credit card account and created for exclusive use at the exact time of the purchase. Once the purchase is made, the number turns invalid and can’t be used again.
If sites where previous purchases were made suffer a security breach, the card number would not be of any use to the cyber thief.
3. Put a security freeze on your credit
Whenever you apply for a new line of credit, potential lenders usually order a credit inquiry to ascertain your creditworthiness and how much of a risk you represent. This means that the lender can access your credit report in order to get on with your application.
Putting a security freeze on your credit is an excellent preventive measure because it blocks access to your credit report.
If a thief attempts to open new credit lines in your name, a credit inquiry will be needed. Thanks to the security freeze, which can only be lifted by you, new credit inquiries are an impossibility.
So, no credit inquiry, no credit report, no new credit line.
Whenever you want to open an account, you need to lift the freeze. In our book, that’s a trivial sacrifice when your financial well-being is your reward.
4. Apply multifactor identification
While nobody likes the rigors of creating multiple security layers, as far as credit protection is concerned, the more layers the better.
Just like the two-factor authentication we see when setting up email accounts, amplified security helps keep mischievous activity at bay.
Multifactor identification systems utilize various levels of authentication requests to consolidate account security. It typically involves demanding various bits of information peculiar to the user. These include what the user knows, possesses, or where they are located.
Any wrong answer will trigger an alarm. This will prompt the lender to deny further charges and kick off an investigation. It’s not out of place to even fuse the questions with passwords and security tokens.
Again, it might seem burdensome going through countless hurdles just to protect your account. But, better safe than sorry. Trust us on that!
5. Use ID theft protection services
There’s no denying that credit fraud and identity theft are closely knit. So, an identification theft protection service performs the following functions:
- Round-the-clock credit monitoring
- Notifying users when an inquiry is made
- Alerting users in the event of a credit score change or detection of an odd activity
Identification theft protection services and programs can be purchased from any of the national credit bureaus, third-party providers, or insurance companies. Some of the programs offer insurance from financial losses that result from fraud.
With these pointers, you can certainly ward off malicious eyes and keep your credit in good health. At Consumer Attorneys, we are experts committed to helping our customers navigate the issues surrounding credit.
Feel free to reach out. We’d be happy to hear from you.