Identity theft is a serious problem affecting more people every day. That’s why learning how to prevent it is so important. Knowing how to prevent identity theft makes your identity more secure. Preventing theft starts with managing your personal information carefully and sensibly. We recommend 7simple precautions to keep your personal information safe:
- Only carry essential documents with you. Do not carry your social security card, birth certificate, passport or any extra credit cards.
- Be careful giving personal information over the phone. Identity thieves may call pretending to be bank or government agency. Never give them personal information unless you initiated the call.
- Your trash is their treasure. Be sure to shred bank statements, receipts and credit card offers.
- Follow bank and credit card statements. Make sure you receive your billing statements every month. Thieves can start by changing your billing address without you noticing. Next, be sure to always check your statements for transactions and make sure none of them were made without your consent.
- Keep a list of accounts and numbers filed away. Keeping a list of all of your credit card numbers, expiration dates and telephone numbers to call if they are stolen is any easy, yet helpful tool in case your wallet is stolen.
- Create passwords and PIN numbers out of a random mix of letters and numbers. Doing so makes it harder for identity thieves to discover these codes. Also, be sure to change them every 3 months for more protection.
- Stay on top of your credit. Make sure your credit reports are accurate. You can request a free credit report every year from each company. We recommend requesting your free report every 4 months.
We wish we could say that these 7 things will 100% protect you from identity theft. Unfortunately, thieves will always be coming up with new ways around things. We just really want to stress to you to be aware of anything with your personal information. This includes; bank and credit card statements, investments, insurance, government documents and even utilities. By being aware you can quickly check out anything that seems out of the ordinary.
This concludes the 3-part series over Identity theft.