How To Guard Against Identity Theft
Need to know how to guard against identity theft? Guarding your personal information should be second nature, and can be done with a few precautionary steps. Because your identity is important to you, you should protect it and cherish it. Whenever you do use your personal information, be wary of identity theft predators.
- Do not give out your financial information. Daily you may receive plenty of unsolicited calls or emails. These calls and emails are not always legitimate. That is why it is important to never give your personal information to these people. You should only give out this information if you are familiar with the company and initiate the transaction. Personal financial information can include banking information, credit or debit card numbers and your Social Security number.
- Shred papers with personal information on them. Shredding is an important part of guarding against identity theft. You may receive credit card offers or bank statements in the mail. These documents carry information that can help someone to steal your identity. Never throw away anything with your banking information, Social Security number, name, address, driver's license number or mother's maiden name without shredding it first.
- Creatively select your PIN and guard it. Never write down your PIN for your credit and debit cards. This gives identity thieves the means to steal your identity and money. PINs should be kept in your brain for your personal use only. When creating a PIN, never use numbers that someone could easily guess. This includes birthdays, anniversaries, Social Security numbers, driver's license numbers and addresses. More than likely they will use this information in order to steal more of your personal information.
- Don't put your outgoing mail in your personal box. This is a small way to help guard yourself from identity theft. Driving to the post office may not always be ideal, but it is necessary. Unless your mailbox has a lock on it, people can simply stick their hands in your box and steal your mail. This opens a large doorway with identity theft. They now have your name and address. You may even have some more personal information in the mail. That is why going to a postal box is crucial.
- Check your financial statements regularly. Many people ignore their monthly statements. This can be a costly mistake. There can be unauthorized charges, and you would never even know. Most victims of identity theft have had their accounts charged for miscellaneous reasons. The charges may occur monthly or even sporadically. Paying close attentions to charges on your statement could save you from identity theft.
- Check your credit report periodically. In order to guard your identity, you must know what is going on with it. Many people worry about identity theft, but never actually check their credit report. Your credit report will show almost any and everything that is going on under your name and Social Security number. The best way to stop or guard against fraud is to check it periodically. This way you can take the necessary steps to guard your identity.