It has been estimated that 41 million Americans have experienced some form of identity theft. However, there are some simple precautions that you can take to keep your information safe. Check out some of our tips below.
Never carry your social security number with you or store it where other people can access it. If your social security number appears on another document, such as a license or insurance card, request a new copy without it.
All paper statements you receive that relate to your finances should be destroyed. You can either do this by shredding or tearing them up. This includes all offers you receive for new credit cards, preventing other people from opening cards in your name.
Don’t give out your personal information over the phone unless you are 100% certain the call is authentic. If you aren’t sure, contact the company yourself. This also goes for websites. If the site doesn’t appear to be secure or something seems ‘off,’ don’t enter your information.
Secure your mailbox to ensure that people who shouldn’t be in there are kept out. If you aren’t able to lock up your mailbox, consider registering for a PO Box at your local post office. All of your electronic devices should also be kept password protected in case of loss or theft. These passwords should be complex and hard to guess.
STAY UP TO DATE
Look at your credit report regularly to make sure that everything is correct. If there’s an account you don’t recognize, you will need to dispute it. You should also be looking at all of your account’s monthly statements for irregularities. If you note one, report it as soon as possible.
For additional security, it may be a good idea to enroll in identity theft protection. This also includes installing anti-virus protections on your computer and keeping them up to date.
For additional resources, check out our website.