Protecting your Credit and Identity

Southern Ute Indian Tribe

Protecting your credit and identity is a major concern when it comes to keeping your credit on track. The hysteria in the news has been stoked by much publicized data breaches such as the recent Equifax data compromise. New breaches seem to be all too common and are becoming a regular part of today’s news backdrops. However, there are ways to be proactive in protecting your credit and identity.

Guard your online information. Many of us do most of our shopping and banking on the web. With all the account numbers and passwords, it’s easy for someone to swipe your information and go on a spree. Here are several examples to help combat the fraud:

  • Clear your logins and passwords. This is especially important if you are using a public computer. Change passwords monthly. Do not use your email as your login id.
    • Example on how to delete the stored logins and passwords in Internet Explorer
      Click the Tools menu
      • Click Internet Options
      • Click the Content tab
      • Click the AutoComplete button
      • Click Clear Passwords
      • Click OK on each of the dialog boxes to close them
  • Pay for online purchases with a credit card. Credit cards have better fraud protections than debit cards.
  • Be alert for phishing. Hackers use this trick to mimic legitimate banks or businesses to obtain personal information. Always verify the website with the appropriate security controls before entering personal information.
  • Monitor your bank and credit card statements. Check the statements regularly for inaccuracies. Purchases you did not make are usually obvious, for example, a gas fill up halfway across the country.

Monitor your credit report. By law, you are entitled to a free credit report every year from each of the three separate credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Stagger the request, every four months, changing bureaus each time. You can order the reports directly from the bureaus or from After receiving the credit report, scan for abnormal activity such as accounts or credit cards you did not open or credit inquiries you have not authorized. Also, use the website, there are many other websites that will try to charge you for your report and try to sell you other needless services.

There are numerous products and procedures you can inquire about to help protect your credit and identity. Be mindful while researching each of these products and/or procedures as they do have pros and cons. Anthem, the Tribe’s health care provider, provides a new credit protection offer. Tribal employees and other Anthem members have access to identity theft and fraud protection through AllClear ID. To learn more about these services or to enroll, visit and click on the AllClear ID link.

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