1. Keep your passwords private
While it’s tempting to write down your password so you don’t forget it, try creating/using complicated passwords that are easy for you to remember. When you write down your password, you run the risk of someone finding and using it to access personal information.
2. Pay attention to purchases on your credit card statement
When you get your billing statement, make sure all of the purchases on the statement are correct. Investigate any purchases that don’t seem right and notify your financial institution or credit card company immediately. Don’t just look for large purchases. Sometimes the people trying to steal your identity will steal smaller amounts, trying to test the card and information first.
3. Shred, shred, shred
If you have access to a shredder, use it to shred important documents such as old billing statements (once they’ve been paid) or credit card offers you receive in the mail. A good guideline: if you’re not sure if it contains information about you that could be stolen or used…shred it.
4. Keep your social security card in a safe place
There are a few cases where you will need to know your social security number, so if you don’t have it memorized, do it now. NEVER carry your card in your wallet. If you memorize the number, then you can keep your card in a safe location. Cases where you will need to know your number, or provide the actual card, would be for employment, loan and account applications, utilities, and other home services. Be careful about you provide your SSN to, and ask questions.
5. Avoid carrying around credit cards you don’t need to use/use regularly
If you happen to lose your wallet, instead of canceling every credit card, only take necessary cards with you when you leave the house. The less cards you have, the less of a chance someone can steal your identity.
6. Never share you bank account or PIN number with anyone
While it seems like common sense, it doesn’t hurt to revisit this topic. You should never, under any circumstances, share bank account or Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) with anyone. Transactions involving PINs are the sole responsibility of the PIN owner. “P” stands for personal, and it should stay that way.