With the latest announcements of major consumer I.D. theft still fresh in the news, here is an article that offers important advice on protecting your financial information. This comes from the TransUnion organization and describes how to reduce the potential of identity theft.
As a major credit reporting agency, TransUnion is well-known in the credit information and information management field. For more than 40 years, it has worked with businesses and consumers to gather, analyze and deliver critical financial information. FFN Editors
How to Prevent Identity Theft
By the TransUnion Staff
Identity theft is a serious problem affecting more people every day. That’s why learning how to prevent it is so important. Knowing how to prevent identity theft makes your identity more secure. The more people who know how to prevent identity theft, the less inclined others may be to commit the crime.
Preventing identity theft starts with managing your personal information carefully and sensibly. We recommend a few simple precautions to keep your personal information safe:
Only carry essential documents with you.
Not carrying extra credit cards, your Social Security card, birth certificate or passport with you outside the house can help you prevent identity theft.
Keep new checks out of the mail.
When ordering new checks, you can prevent identity theft by picking them up at the bank instead of having them sent to your home. This makes it harder for your checks to be stolen, altered and cashed by identity thieves.
Be careful when giving out personal information over the phone.
Identity thieves may call, posing as banks or government agencies. To prevent identity theft, do not give out personal information over the phone unless you initiated the call.
Your trash is their treasure.
To prevent identity theft, shred your receipts, credit card offers, bank statements, returned checks and any other sensitive information before throwing it away.
Make sure others are keeping you safe.
Ensure that your employer, landlord and anyone else with access to your personal data keeps your records safe.
Stay on top of your credit.
Make sure your credit reports are accurate and that you sign up for a credit monitoring service, which can alert you by email to changes in your credit report – a helpful way to prevent identity theft.
Protect your Social Security Number.
To prevent identity theft, make sure your bank does not print your Social Security Number on your personal checks.
Follow your credit card billing cycles closely.
Identity thieves can start by changing your billing address. Making sure you receive your credit card bill every month is an easy way to prevent identity theft.
Keep a list of account numbers, expiration dates and telephone numbers filed away.
If your wallet is stolen, being able to quickly alert your creditors is essential to prevent identity theft.
Create passwords or PIN numbers out of a random mix of letters and numbers.
Doing so makes it harder for identity thieves to discover these codes, and makes it easier for you to prevent identity theft.
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.(Disclaimer: The information presented above is strictly those of the author(s). It does not necessarily present the views of FFN. Please use due diligence prior to applying any of the concepts, recommendations and/or in purchasing products or services from the author). FFN Editors