Identity theft is a growing problem in today’s society. The first step in safeguarding your identity is to understand how identity thieves operate and where you are most vulnerable.
For example, if you shred your sensitive documents, an identity thief will have little chance of accessing your information, but if you leave a list of passwords next to your computer, your online data may be far less secure.
- Keep all personal information, passwords and account numbers in a safe place
- Secure your purse or wallet at work and elsewhere
- Make sure no one is lingering nearby before you give personal information over the phone or in person, or enter it into an ATM or other device
- Use only secure mailboxes for incoming and outgoing mail
- Shred personal documents before discarding
- Ask companies with which you do business about their security procedures
- Don’t carry your Social Security card. When you go out, carry only those credit cards you need.
- Don’t give out your Social Security number, account numbers, passwords or any other private information in response to email, phone or in-person requests from sources you don’t know
- Don’t enter personal information on websites you don't know to be legitimate and secure