Protection from identity theft…we’ve all heard about it. We have seen commercials. But do you really know what to do? We are going to break down what to do and more importantly, why you need to do it.
#1 Protect Your Wallet and Purse from Pickpockets
Pickpockets are alive and well today and don’t think they are not. Oprah did a special showing how easy it is to snatch a wallet from purses; and it really is easy. Women sit their purses on floors at restaurants, church, and pretty much everywhere they go. Recently, it has made the news where “sliders” would snatch purses out of the passenger side of cars as women were pumping gas. Bottom line, keep a close eye on your purse and wallet at all times and never let it go.
#2 When Shopping Online, Only Use Trusted Sites
Giving your credit card number out online is risky. If you are not sure about a site, there are two ways you can get around the concern:
• Use PayPal. PayPal is a trusted service and if the site accepts PayPal, then you can use them and not use a credit card at all.
• Some credit cards allow you to create a disposable number. This is great because it is a one-time number that vanishes after it is used, so you don’t have to worry about it being used ever again. The key is not to give them any additional information like birthdays or phone numbers.
#3 Don’t Carry Your Social Security Card in Your Wallet
Carrying your SSN in your wallet is asking for trouble. If your wallet is stolen, then an ID thief has all the info they need to take you for all you have. With your driver’s license and your social security card, they have your name, address, birthday and SSN. All they are lacking is your mother’s maiden name and city of birth. With just a tad bit of research, they can file for a birth certificate and BAM! They have everything they need to become you. With just that, they can still go create bank accounts, take out loans and wreak havoc on your life.
#4 Monitor Your Credit Reports
Even if you never have anything stolen, you want to check your reports because your ID could be stolen and you might not know it. The only way to know for sure is to check your reports on a regular basis and the sooner your catch it the better off you are.
The best protection from identity theft is being proactive. Keep all your documents safe and keep an eye on your credit report. You are in charge of your ID and you should keep it safe. For assistance with monitoring your credit reports, you should engage a service such as Identity Guard.