Protection against identity theft is something we all have to contend with — on and off-line. Identity theft is the act of stealing someone’s personal information to commit fraud.
Using your personal information, identity thieves can ruin your credit, steal your funds, file taxes, use your insurance information and even more damaging actions that can negatively impact your life.
SOME TIPS TO PREVENT IDENTITY THEFT
- Start with the mail: Get your mail every single day and place a temporary hold for mail delivery when you’re away. Shred documents you intend to throw away that may contain your personal information (such as receipts, account statements, credit offers) or thoroughly mark out sensitive information such as social security numbers.
- Leave your Social Security card at home: Only give out your social security number when it is absolutely necessary and don’t make a habit of carrying it in your purse or wallet.
- Protect your personal information: Don’t volunteer your birthdate, social security number and bank account because someone asks for it. If it’s a part of an official registration process (doctor’s office, payment arrangement, etc.), ask how your information will be protected.
- Embrace digital security features: Those security measures on your phone and other devices may slow you down a bit, but they’re meant to protect your identity. Use the multi-factor authentification and verification processes.
- Switch up your passwords: Create a password that will be hard to guess and avoid using the same password for every website or app you have. Also, change your password(s) if you learn of a data breach from a company you do business with.