dentity theft has been a problem for people worldwide over the past several years, and unfortunately, it is a problem that has continued to grow. People must be more vigilant now than ever before when it comes to safeguarding their personal information so that they will hopefully not become victims of identity theft.
In an effort to keep your personal information safe from those who might wish to steal it, there are some general tips you can follow to keep your most personal information secure.
a) Make a list of all of your credit card numbers and bank account numbers along with the contact phone numbers for their respective customer service departments. Keep this list in a safe, secure place such as a safe or safety deposit box.
b) Never carry your Social Security Card in your purse or wallet. In addition, you should never write this number down and carry it with you. Scraps of paper can easily be lost and a criminal just might figure out what the number is.
c) Make sure all of your electronic equipment is password protected so that none of it can be used without your consent. This includes laptop and desktop computers, cell phones, and PDA's. Although this will not necessarily keep your equipment completely safe from hackers and other professional thieves, it is a good enough deterrent that it will probably keep your items safe.
d) Check your credit report at least once every year and be sure to check the report with all three of the major credit bureaus.
e) Periodically go through your wallet and/or purse and clean it out. You might occasionally store some items that contain personal information without realizing that you left them in there. If you find any receipts with your account information on them, take them out and either file them at home or shred them if you don't need them.
f) Try to memorize all of your passwords, user names, and PIN numbers. If you find this task a bit difficult, it is okay to write them down, but don't carry the list around with you, and never store it on your computer. If you have to keep a list of these things, store it on a flash drive that you can keep secure at home.
g) Keep your phone numbers and address unlisted, even if this means that you have to pay some additional fees. Remaining anonymous to would-be thieves is a great way to keep them from even thinking about you.
h) Buy a shredder and use it! Always shred documents that contain your name, address, account numbers, or other personal identifying information. It simply isn't safe anymore to just throw things out with no regard to the information contained within them. This includes those pesky pre-approved credit card applications that seem to arrive in the mail almost daily.
i) Never give anyone your personal information over the phone or internet. There are many phishing schemes out there where people pretend to be a "legitimate" company that you normally do business with, such as your bank, in an effort to obtain your personal information. Sing In Love (2022) If someone asks you for account numbers, passwords, or PIN numbers, never give them out.
j) Don't carry around credit or other bank cards that you rarely use. If you have cards like this, simply leave them in a secure location at home. Don't increase your risk by carrying them around all the time. On The Edge (2022)