Guard all of your information when it comes to finances - The only time you want to give a bank account or credit card number is when you are physically paying for something.
Social security numbers stay confidential
- This is the key that will unlock your entire identity. Never give this to anyone unless you can be sure of why it is necessary to give it out and who you are giving it to. To stay on the safe side ask that your health insurance company or any other companies that use your social as an ID number give you a different substitute number instead. If your motor vehicle agency uses it for your driver's license ask that they also give you a different number instead.
Guard against imposters
‚¬€ There are many dishonest people pretending to work with businesses you do business with. They may try to email or call you saying they need to verify sensitive personal information. If this happens be very suspicious! Before giving out any information, contact the company yourself to confirm that the email or call is actually from them.
Guard your mail
‚¬€ Most people overlook this but your mail is something that needs safeguarding as it has personal account numbers and other valuable information. Always collect if from your box as promptly as possible and have the post office hold it if you're away for any reason. Also when sending out mail be sure to send any type of bill payments directly from the post office or other public mailbox and not from your home. Dont throw your mail in the trash. Shred it!
Keep your PIN numbers and passwords memorized
‚¬€ Do not leave these numbers in a wallet, desk or anywhere else where somebody could easily find it. Also be sure to make them difficult to crack. Don't use birthdays, kid's names or anything else someone might be able to guess or figure out.
Get your names off any credit marketing lists
‚¬€ The credit bureaus create these marketing lists for all types of pre approved credits offers. These can be a treasure trove for anyone trying to steal your identity as they can steal the offers from your mailbox and then apply for a card under your name. To get off these lists simply call 888-567-8688. You need to be sure to have your social security handy as you'll need to verify yourself to be removed. Getting off this list has no effect on your chances when trying to apply for credit.
Lock Up Valuable Info
‚¬€ Have a spot where you can keep all of your personal information secure whether at home, school, in your car or at work. The harder it is to get access to the harder it is to steal
Hopefully, this article on steps to avoid identity theft has shown you a few of the ways to keep your valuable information free from the prying hands of others. When it comes to protecting your personal information be diligent, as a stolen identity is a nightmare and not something you'll ever want to have to deal with.