amNewYork spoke with Jean Chatzky, a financial journalist and author, for some tips on protection from identity theft and fraud.
Avoid over-sharing: Research conducted by LifeLock and Forrester Consulting, concluded that people are most likely to be victimized when they are “over-sharing or over-shopping,” said Chatzky. That means the life events most posted about on social media — marriage, divorce, new babies, new homes—are the ones most likely to get users in trouble.
Protect your passwords: “Tweeting out a birthday wish to your mom with her full name,” or posting photos of your pets with their names in the captions, are all ways to unintentionally share answers to your own security questions.
Don’t be lazy with passwords: Chatzky noted that the strongest passwords are certainly “not a word that can be found in the dictionary.” To fortify the digital keys to your security, Chatzky advises using both uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as numbers and symbols — and to keep it over eight letters.
And definitely change them often: Chatzky noted the availability of apps that manage your passwords, like Dashlane, which make keeping track of updated passwords easy.
Stay vigilant: “The best offense is a good defense, so you need to be more vigilant than you have in the past,” said Chatzky. She recommends checking credit reports three times a year and looking over statements as soon as they arrive.