Identity theft is a very real problem. Often it occurs without you noticing it for quite some time. It can affect your life and change it forever. It can impede your from applying for a new a job application, from renewing your mortgage, applying for a student scholarship. Everything!! According to The Wisconsin State Journal, identity theft makes top 10 list of consumer complaints! You need to protect yourself! The following precautions can help you accomplish that.
There are additional precautions that you can take for yourself that can help to protect you.
How to stay safe from identity theft
Lock your mailbox:
Although use of the postal service has declined in recent years, this is still a great source of information for identity thieves. Take a look at how your mail is delivered. My mail is delivered into my home through a slot, so I do not worry about someone obtaining my information out of my mailbox. If that is not your situation then you can look into a locking mailbox or renting a post office box. You should also consider online or paperless bill paying options. These options are not only good for the environment but also for your security since that private information is no longer traveling through the mail. Many people you would receive checks in the mail from now are offering direct deposit or debit card payments. Most importantly when you are throwing out papers that is yet another opportunity for theft. You may not think anyone wants to dig through your trash, but shred those documents to be sure. You can help protect yourself.
Protect your debit cards:
Another area that can be a concern is when you are shopping at your local businesses. Take a look around before you use an ATM or credit/debit card terminal. That extra glance around is definitely worth it. Do not use the same pin number for each of your debit cards. Do not write your pin number(s) anywhere within your wallet. Always take your receipt since there is information on the receipt that can link back to the card you use. Decline to answer the cashier’s question as to your phone number, zip code, or email address. These questions are simply used for marketing information. Your personal information should be guarded.
Be safe online.
Protect your passwords. Vary the passwords you use online for different sites. I have different passwords for my email, social networking, bills, and pay-pal. I also have a separate email that I use to sign up for freebies and coupons. When setting up online accounts pay attention to the security questions you provide answers to. If the answer is too predictable, choose a different question. Remember to protect your children online. My teenage daughters have been taught to protect themselves.
We live in a fast pace world. It is easy for us to forget to protect ourselves. By taking a few basic precautions and signing up for Identity Guard you can be protected. They will alert you to possible identity theft. Enrolling is easy. It will take only few minutes to complete. So do your identity a favor. You can start by downloading their 3 FREE e-books right now. Defending yourself and your family with Identity Guard and the new program #kIDsure can save you the time in the future trying to restore your identity.
Disclosure: This service was provided to me for review at no charge. In addition, I received monetary compensation. All opinions are my own.