Commentary

June 21, 2013

Personal OPSEC: Tips on Avoiding Identify Theft

Identity theft among military members occurs at a much higher rate than with their civilian counterparts. The reason for this elevated incident rate is partially due to the copious amounts of personnel documents generated and the frequency of deployments that take servicemembers’ focus away from personal business maintenance, such as monitoring their credit reports. There are three major ways to avoid identity theft: deterrence, detection and defense.

In order to deter identity theft, it is important to know where your sensitive information is kept. Thieves rummage through trash cans and check unsecured mailboxes for information that can link them to personal information. Therefore, it is important to check your mail regularly and shred sensitive documents before throwing them away. If you notice bank statements or other important documents missing, that could be a sign that your mail has been stolen. In addition, you should only give your social security number and other identifying information when legally required and through secured means. Also, it is best not to keep your SSN and passwords to accounts in your wallet or other easily obtainable locations.

Try to minimize the number of credit application submissions. Be a detective when it comes to Emails or other correspondence asking for personal information. Typically, thieves pose as bank employees or government officials to retrieve sensitive information. Use complex passwords for bank accounts and other online resources that contain your personal information – remember to change passwords routinely. This helps to avoid unauthorized access to your accounts.

In most cases, taking a proactive stance to prevent identity theft can be a highly effective defense; however, some incidents can occur that inadvertently lead to the unwanted release of information. Being vigilant and closely monitoring personal matters can help minimize most damage if a theft has occurred. It is a good idea to check your credit report at all three credit bureaus [TransUnion, Equifax and Experian], at least once a year. This can be done free of charge. If your budget allows, you can hire a commercial services that specialize in monitoring credit profiles and flagging suspicious activities.

According to Maj. Deric Prescott, active duty Staff Judge Advocate, a good idea for military members is to place a free “active duty alert” on their credit report while they are deployed. This prevents any new credit applications from being made.

If victimized by identity theft, members should immediately file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and local law enforcement officials. These agencies can provide specific remedies that limit liability if identity theft has occurred. Also, immediately contact your creditors to report the theft and start the process of undoing the damage caused by the thieves. Be sure to maintain documentation of all correspondence with credit agencies and financial institutions. Be diligent in reporting fraudulent charges or activity because the issues become more difficult to solve as time elapses. Stop by the March Legal office for more information regarding identity, handouts and attorney referrals. There are additional online resources are available at consumer.ftc.gov/topics/privacy-identity.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
DoD
Facebook Banner Suicide Prevention

September is Suicide Prevention Month

Deaths as a result of suicide are a preventable public health concern and a top priority for the Department of Defense. The Military Health System works with military and civilian organizations to build awareness of suicidal be...
 
 
150827-F-ZZ999-003_c

AF emergency managers emphasize planning during National Preparedness Month

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) — September is National Preparedness Month and the Air Force Civil Engineer Center is leading the charge for servicewide participation. With a theme of “Don’t wait. Communicate. Mak...
 
 

News Briefs

COMMISSARY CASE LOT SALE SEP 17-20 The March Commissary’s next case lot sale is scheduled for September 17 – 20. Sale hours will be Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. In addition to the case lot sale outside, there will be extra savings on items...
 

 
DSC_3961_c

Eleven Blue Eagles graduate at March Field

The March Field Blue Eagles Total Force Honor Guard graduated 11 new members at a formal ceremony here August 21, 2015, where Class HG-1, fiscal year 2015, was introduced to distinguished guests, Team March members, family and ...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Tiffany Lindemann

Team March maintainers refurbish KC-135 Stratotanker in record time

U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Tiffany Lindemann Staff Sgt. Caleb Meyer, an active-duty crew chief, and Staff Sgt. Neftali Rivera, an Air Reserve Technician and crew chief, both from the 752nd Maintenance Squadron, screw in th...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Russell S. McMillan

Johnson assumes command of 56th Aerial Port Squadron

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Russell S. McMillan Col. Timothy McCoy (left), commander, 452nd Mission Support Group, March Air Reserve Base, passes the guidon to Maj. Mark E. Johnson, commander, 56th Aerial Port Squadron, ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>