In today’s society, identity theft is all to common. It seems as if every time you listen to the news, another corporations system has been hacked and the hackers made off with thousands of customers credit card and identity information. We even hear of identity thieves being able to obtain your credit or debit card number as we stand in line to purchase groceries. As technology and communication forms change, criminals are finding different way’s to prey on innocent hardworking people. The good news is-you can take some simple steps to protect your identity and save yourself from many headaches in the future. Read on to find out 9 way’s you can protect your identity.
1. Remember To Take Your Receipt. Often times I have failed to take my receipt, because I knew the cashier at a certain store, and I trusted that she would dispose of it for me. Luckily for me she did properly dispose of it. Certain receipts may contain personal information, so never leave your receipts.
2. Keep Your Social Security Number Safe. Never, ever keep your social security card in your wallet. Make sure to keep it in a safe place. Make sure any other documents that may contain your social security number are kept in a private safe place.
3. Don’t Give Personal Information Over The Phone. This is something that I constantly remind the older people in my family. Be very wary of anyone who requests your personal information via telephone, especially if they are calling you and you are not the one placing the call.
4. Report Lost Or Stolen Cards IMMEDIATELY. Alert the creditor of each card so they can cancel the lost or stolen card and issue you a new one.
5. Beware of Scammers. I know we all hear about the email scam’s where you receive an email telling you that you have inherited millions of dollars, or something to that effect. Scammer’s even try to make you believe that they are employees of certain companies, like the Alabama Power scam presently going on. Don’t give any personal information via email and make sure to research and check people before conducting personal business.
7. Only Log Into Personal Accounts From Home. I am guilty, I sometimes log into my bank account at work. I feel safe at work, and maybe some of you do too. Feeling safe is no excuse, you should never conduct personal business on a public or work computer.
8. Go Paperless. Having your account statements sent online in a secure environment prevents them having to go through the mail where they can be stolen. If you are like me and just have to have a paper statement, have a separate mailing address where there is someone there that can retrieve the mail as soon as the mailman puts it in the box.
9. Shred Your Junk Mail. I know you are thinking, why would I shred my junk mail, it doesn’t have my personal information on it. WRONG! It has your name, and that may be all an identity thief needs to carry out their wicked plan. Sometimes, credit card offers have a temporary card in them and in the wrong hand’s this card could be activated and used.
You know I want to hear from you. What do you do to ensure that your identity stays protected? Comment below and let me know.