Identity theft is something that can be compared to burglary. Can you stop burglary? Yes and NO. You can put in a security system, window bars, locks, and security cameras, but there is no guarantee. Identity theft is the same way these days. There are preventive measures and solutions that you can implement to help out. Here is what you can do.
VIDEO about Identity Theft from the FTC.
1. Don’t carry around unnecessary information in your wallet. Such as social security card, more than one credit card, birth certificate and passport. Make a copy of everything in your wallet incase someone steals your wallet. Do this so you will know what to report stolen.
2. Don’t click on any e-mails from financial institutions even though you feel 100% confident it’s from your bank. Go to your web browser instead and type in the bank web address. Example (www.wellsfargo.com). Some of e-mails being sent out currently are fake and are called “phishing” e-mails.
3. Install virus and spyware detections software and keep them updated.
4. Take credit card receipts with you; never throw them in a public trash can.
5. Install lockable mail box at your residence in order to prevent mail theft.
6. Make sure you computer is set to automatically setup to download the latest updates and patches. Any computer software will have security holes in it.
7. Limit the number of credit cards you have.
8. Don’t have the bank send your checks in the mail, let them know you will pick up at the bank.
9. Destroy all checks if you close a checking account. Destroy or keep in a secure place any courtesy checks they send you.
10. Reconcile your checking account and credit card statements in a timely manner, and challenge any charges that are not yours
11. Memorize your usernames and passwords, don’t write them down. Be aware of your surroundings make sure no one is watching you enter in your pin number at an ATM.
12. Safeguard all statements from creditors, once paid shred them .You can always access your statement if on line.
13. Don’t throw away any credit card offers, shred them all. Go here to stop all credit card offers permanently.
14. If you don’t receive your billing statements notify the company immediately.
15. Pull your credit report regularly to check for any fraudulent activity.
16. Set up credit monitoring with one of the Bureaus.
17. Don’t allow your financial institutions to print your social security number on your checks