Only YOU Can Prevent Identity Theft!

Fool Me Once, Shame on Me, Fool Me Twice…

How Identity Theft occurs and the consequences of this crime have been covered. At this point you should have a better understanding of what is done with your social security number, banking info, and other personal information once it has been stolen. Below we’ll cover basic, yet important steps to take to ensure your personal info stays……..personal.

 

Steps you can take to prevent Identity Theft:

  • Destroy private records and statements.
  • Secure your mail.
  • Safeguard your social security number.
  • Don’t leave a paper trail.
  • Never let your credit cards and check cards out of your sight.
  • Know who you are dealing with.
  • Take your name off marketers’ hit lists and opt out of sharing info.
  • Be defensive with personal info.
  • Monitor your credit report.
  • Review your bank statements carefully.
  • Add passwords to all accounts.
  • Don’t allow your kids to use the same computer on which you do online banking and store financial records (children are apt to download games and attachments that host damaging viruses or attract spyware).
  • Beware of offers that appeal to greed or fear in exchange for personal data.
  • Be aware. A lot of people associate identity thieves as “shady guys sitting in a hotel room who pick names at random.” Be aware that everyone from organized crime to your father-in-law could potentially be an identity thief.
  • Don’t give out your social security number before carefully evaluating if it is absolutely necessary. Your bank may need it, but your grocery store savings club does not!
  • Invest in a shredder. Get into the habit of shredding all documents before tossing them in the garbage.
  • Practice safe shopping. Only shop from secure sites that will encrypt your order. To make sure you connection is secure, look for “https://” at the beginning of the URL and also check for a little picture of a padlock or an unbroken key in the bottom right-hand corner of your browser.
  • Be suspicious of unexpected calls or letter. Even if the caller asking for your information seems real, it’s best to double check. Protecting yourself from identity theft is important and can be accomplished by being constantly aware and taking simple measures such as those listed above.

 

Don’t Hit “Send” Just Yet:

Sensitive Information That Should Not Be Emailed:

  • Social Security Number
  • Drivers License Number
  • Account Number(s)
  • Credit or Debit Card Number
  • PIN or Password granting access to an account

 

 

Have you suffered from identity theft? Are there any criminal uses we missed?

Please share your story or comments below.  Thanks – TDN

 

 

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