Identify theft is on the rise, and with over 9 million Americans having their identity stolen on an annual basis, you would be wrong in thinking it could never happen to you.
Having your personal details used nefariously is at best an inconvenience and at worst a potentially life-changing circumstance that any hardworking American could well do without.
If you are concerned about keeping your personal financial data protected, follow these tips to protect your identity at all times.
Keep your social security number safe
Your social security number is your key to getting gainful employment, as well as the unique key that enables the IRS to keep track of your tax obligations. If it is stolen, you could encounter real problems trying to get paid. Don’t keep your social security card in your wallet or purse, but rather keep it locked somewhere safe at home. If your social security number is listed on your driver’s license, health insurance card or even your checkbook request to have it reissued.
Use secure passwords for your phone and laptop
You would be amazed by just how many people use passwords that are super easy to guess. You should only ever use passwords that are unique, randomly created and that use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. You should also never use the same password across a number of different website or devices.
Make remembering your passwords a priority, as the safest place to keep a note of them is inside your head.
Check all your credit card and bank statements
Don’t just leave them unopened on the counter every month, actually take the time to open them and go through all of your transactions. This way, it easy to see if your card has been used fraudulently, even if the transactions are only for very small amounts. Criminals will often try small, undetectable amounts before wiping your accounts out completely.
If you do find anything out that looks suspicious, contact your bank or card provider immediately.
Shred all personal documentation
To stay safe from identity theft, never just throw your personal paperwork in the trash for anybody to find. Instead, you should always shred each piece using a shredding machine as criminals are not above going through your garbage to find personal information about you.
To avoid the need to keep all of your unnecessary paperwork, make a list of each of your account numbers or card details, as well as the contact numbers for each of the providers in case they are stolen. Keep this in a safe place and only reach for it if you are worried that there has been fraudulent activity on your accounts and credit cards.
Be careful where you use your personal details online
These days most of us choose to shop online, and we often just assume that every website will handle our payment details securely. But, you should only ever use a secure website to pay for goods or services online. A web page containing “https” in the address or a padlock symbol next to the address field is a secure site, meaning that the information you provide will be encrypted or scrambled, protecting it from hackers.
Insurance from The Sena Group
We offer comprehensive insurance coverage in Florida, to protect you and your family against financial loss from a wide range of sources. Call us today at 561-391-4661 to find out more.
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