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4 Ways to Protect Your Identity

If you don’t learn how to keep your personal data secure, you may find yourself the victim of identity theft or fraudulent purchases. These frustrating crimes aren’t always preventable, but you can take action to help avoid becoming a victim. Here are some of the best ways to keep your identity and personal information safe, offline and online.

1. Choose strong passwords.
When you’re setting up your account for online banking with a financial institution such as Fitzsimons Credit Union, use a secure password that hackers aren’t likely to guess. Create strong passwords for your email, social media and any other online accounts to protect them from being accessed by others. Select different passwords for different sites, and use a mixture of numbers, letters and characters. If you have trouble keeping up with all of your login information, consider a secure password tool such as LastPass, which stores your passwords and can generate random ones.

2. Keep your Social Security number safe.
Your Social Security number is one of the most—if not the most—sensitive pieces of personal data. If a criminal gets a hold of it, identity theft is easy to commit. Guard your number to prevent it from being stolen and used maliciously. Don’t keep your Social Security card in your wallet, and never write your number on checks. Give out your Social Security number only when it is necessary, such as on a credit card or loan application.

3. Protect or shred confidential mail.
Don’t let your personal information sent in the mail fall into the wrong hands. Remove your mail from your mailbox regularly, and file away or shred financial statements, unwanted receipts, credit card offers and other private information. This prevents people from accessing your personal data by stealing your mail or dumpster diving. If you’re going to be away, put your mail on hold or have someone collect it for you.

Fitzsimons Credit Union is holding a free community shredding and electronic recycling event on Saturday, April 25th from 10am-1pm at the Fitzsimons branch. See more info here.

- Fitzsimons Credit Union

4. Be alert for phishing attempts.
Phishing is an online scam in which someone emails you pretending to be your credit union or another business you’re likely to trust. The email will usually ask you to provide confidential information, such as your Social Security number, passwords or bank account numbers. If you receive an email asking you for this type of information, or if it has a link that takes you to a site requesting this information, ignore it. If you think it might be legitimate, look up the phone number for the business it claims to be and call it to see whether its employees did contact you or it’s a phishing scam instead.

If you follow these four safety tips, you will significantly lower your risk of becoming a victim of unauthorized purchases or identity theft.

Emily Starbuck Crone, NerdWallet

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Fitzsimons Credit Union recognizes the importance of ensuring our website is accessible to all users. We are in the process of redesigning our site in accordance with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and will be publishing updates to the website within the next several months so that our content is readable via non-graphical, text-only browsers. We appreciate your patience during this process. links to third party websites that may not be controlled or owned by Fitzsimons Credit Union. Fitzsimons Credit Union may not be responsible for the content of the alternate web site neither does it represent either the third party nor the member if the two enter into a transaction. Fitzsimons Credit Union does not represent either the third party or member if a transaction is entered. Privacy and security policies may differ from those practiced by

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