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Identity theft occurs when criminals access their victims’ personal information and then use it for their own gain – for example by applying for credit in their name.

Identity theft is a serious problem, but by managing your personal information carefully and understanding its importance, you can reduce the likelihood of it impacting you.

Protect your identity with the following tips:

1)Phishing and spam emails. If you receive cold phone calls or emails asking for any of your personal information, i.e. account details, PINs or passwords, don’t respond. Stay vigilant and be skeptical – no one should ever pressurise you to provide your personal information.

2)Shred your documents. Identity frauddoesn't just happen online, so don’t give identity thieves a chance. Shred or destroy your personal information, receipts, bank statements, credit applications, insurance forms, expired credit cards and credit offers before you discard them.

3)Don’t overshare on social media. When you’re using social media, don’t give away too many personal details. Never share any information that might help fraudsters guess your passwords or answers to security questions.

4)Review your financial statements. Check your bank and card statements regularly and report any suspicious transactions.

5)Create strong passwords. Use passwords over eight letters long, using upper and lower case plus numbers and special characters if possible. Don’t use obvious words or number sequences (e.g. password 123) or any personal details.

6)Never write down or share PINs, account details or passwords.

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