17 ID Theft Protection Best Practices - Your ID Theft Protection Checklist
Here you'll find 17 ways to protect your personal and financial information from ID theft.
1. Shred all discarded mail and other documents with personal and financial information.
2. Sign up to "Opt Out" of credit and insurance company solicitations.
3. Freeze your credit report with the 3 major reporting agencies.
4. Don't carry sensitive documents with you (Social Security Cards, birth certificates, passports etc). And lock them in a safe or safety deposit box when not in use.
5. Never ever log onto a website that contains personal or financial data through a link in an email (also known as Phishing). Open up a new browser window and type the URL into the address bar.
6. Never give out personal or financial information based on an email solicitation.
7. Most companies employ firewalls. Always use a firewall and virus protection on your personal desktop or laptop.
8. Never give personal info (name, address, SS# etc.) to anyone who contacts you by phone for any reason whatsoever. This is also known as "Pretexting."
9. Never write your PIN numbers down. Commit them to memory.
10. Notify your Credit Card Company or bank if you suddenly stop receiving monthly statement; a sign that your mailing address may have been changed by a third party.
11. Check your bank accounts and credit card statements monthly for signs of unusual activity. A charge for a flat screen TV would stand out, but smaller charges can go unnoticed.
12. Tell your credit card company to stop sending you cash advance checks and shred them if you do get them.
13. Never open an email attachment from an unknown source. Delete it immediately and set your email software to capture and delete Spam.
14. Believe it or not, be aware that family, friends and co-workers are more likely to obtain and misuse your information than total strangers.
15. Ensure as much privacy as possible when entering PIN numbers at ATM's or self checkout cashiers by covering or shielding the keypad from prying eyes.
16. Except for tax payments to the IRS, don't write account or Social Security numbers on checks. Not only is it a bad idea, but it's totally unnecessary.
17. When discarding old computers, remove and destroy the hard drive and any other storage devices that are no longer used.
By: Rick Contrata
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