Your identity is one of the most important things in your life. In fact, you could argue that it is the biggest item in your life next to your physical well-being.
With that in mind, what are you doing to reduce the odds of one or more individuals getting a hold of your identity?
Although some say there are no 100 percent foolproof ways in protecting your identity, don’t give up. Doing so can open you up to a world of financial trouble.
So, are you protecting your identity?
Be Pro-Active in Guarding Your Financial Well-Being
In doing all you can to prevent identity theft, remember a few keys.
- Info you give out – Your first line of defense is being careful about personal details you give out. You generally do need to give your Social Security number out when filling out forms related to your job. You may get questions on personal savings or credit cards when applying for a loan or similar need. That said do not give your personal financial details to anyone who asks for them. Yes, it sounds like commonsense, but you might find surprise at how many folks do in fact give such details out.
- Watching electronic footprints – Also make sure you cover electronic footprints. For example, do you keep any and all computer log-in information to yourself? If not, you can be setting yourself up for trouble. Whether a co-worker gets your login info or a criminal hacks your computer, you could have trouble. If that happens, an identity theft criminal could access one or more of your bank accounts etc.
- How you bank – Whether at an ATM machine or in a bank with a slip filled out with personal details, be careful. It only takes seconds for a thief to get your account number and cause havoc. Make sure no one is looking over your shoulder when you have sensitive financial info with you.
- Dispose of garbage – Last, are you careful when it comes to throwing your garbage out? Unfortunately, too many people do not take notice of what they throw out and how they go about tossing it away. Always make sure you shred any sensitive documents. This includes credit card receipts, bank statements, copies of loan applications, and more. By shredding paperwork, you remove one option thieves can use to get to your personal data. If away from home, you can wait until you get home or use an office shredder to remove the personal information.
Also learn the latest in identity theft concerns and new protection technologies.
One way to better educate yourself is by hopping on the Internet.
There are a myriad of sites that provide info on how best to protect one’s financial well-being. Many sites will also allow interaction between identity theft blog writers and consumers. This way, you can ask questions and more times than not get the answers you need.
If protecting your identity has not been a priority up to this point, make it one moving forward.