Personal information needs to remain personal. There are identity thieves online and offline that are looking for an easy target. You don’t want any of your personal information falling into the wrong hands because it can dramatically alter your life. You may experience credit problems and problems with other things if someone were to steal your identity.
There is a variety of ways to keep your information safe. While some of the tips are going to be things you do on a regular basis, others may not have crossed your mind before.
1. Protect your Social Security Number
When you are issued a Social Security number, the card comes with instructions. The government suggests that you memorize the number and then put the card in a safe place for keeping. If you have a safe in your home, put it in there. Do not keep it in your wallet. If for any reason you lose your wallet, you don’t want someone to end up with your Social Security number.
2. Protect Your Computer and Mobile Devices
You need to protect your computer as well as any mobile devices, including tablets and smartphones. Create a strong password for each, use a firewall, and add virus and spyware protection to them. This ensures that your information is well protected. Since you probably use your mobile devices for just as many transactions as your computer, you need to safeguard it – and this is where most people fall short in terms of security.
3. Invest in a Security System
Protecting your home and your family is of the utmost importance. You may keep a significant amount of personally identifying information in your home. This includes copies of bills, personal records and other items. If you leave any of this out, thieves can access it. With a security system in place, you are likely going to deter the average thief. Certain options such as ADT in Los Angeles and other large cities are offered by many different companies. Checkout prices online and with local companies to get the best offer possible.
4. Stop Getting Pre-Approvals
Mail comes your way all the time that says you have been pre-approved for a credit card or other offer. This makes it easy for someone to grab your mail and get a hold of a lot of personal details about you. The easiest way to stop getting these pre-approvals is to contact the credit reporting bureaus and to call 1-888-5-OPTOUT. This takes you off all of the marketing lists.
5. Check Your Statements
Be aware of what’s on your statements. In today’s society, so many things are automated. You may not realize that your account has been compromised until you go to charge something on a card and it’s denied because the credit limit has been met. If you don’t get a statement when you should, contact the bank. When you do get them, go line by line to ensure you authorized all the transactions.
Identity thieves are never going to stop looking for their next target. There are plenty of things you can do to be sure you’re not their next one. Follow these tips and be smart about how you handle all of your personal information. Keep very little information on your person and safeguard the devices you use on a regular basis where you share personal information with others over an Internet connection.