This is helpful, everyday advice for protecting your identity.
When writing checks (if you still are), do not include full credit card numbers on the check. Use only the last four digits on the FOR line. Otherwise, everyone who handles that check has your account number. Use your work phone number if possible and a PO Box if you have one. Never print your SSN or Drivers License number, add as necessary.
Do not sign the back of your credit card, add PHOTO ID REQUIRED. My husband and I practice this safety measure, but it never ceases to amaze me how many vendors fail to see this or request ID.
Place the contents of your wallet on a copy machine, copy both sides of everything in your wallet. Keep this in a safe place in case your wallet is stolen. You can easily contact every card company. You can only cancel the cards in case of theft if you have the contact information and card numbers.
Carry a copy of your passport with you when you travel either here or abroad. Dont store it in the same place as your passport, keep them separate.
Do NOT give personal, bank, credit card information to an unverified solicitor over the telephone or through unsecure web-sites. If you are unsure, ask for a phone number and call them back. Verify they are legitimate.
Protect your Social Security card and dont carry it in your wallet/purse.
Use secure passwords and change them regularly. Create clever passwords and protect them.
Purge your wallet or purse regularly of receipts, personal information, bills, etc.
Review all bills, credit card statements AND your credit reports. Take advantage of free credit reports by requesting one every four months.
- Equifax 1-800-525-6285
- Experian (TRW) 1-888-397-3742
- Trans Union 1-800-680-7289
- Social Security Administration Fraud Line 1-800-269-0271
Protect your PC. Invest in firewall, virus and spyware protection. Update it regularly.
Avoid phishing emails, use Wi-Fi wisely, lock your laptop and read the privacy policies.
Shred personal information before kicking it to the curb in your trash.