Protect Your Identity

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing types of crime today.  There are some things you need to do to try and protect yourself from identity theft.  There is no guarantee, but taking some sensible steps toward protection will help you avoid the theft of your identity.

If you ever become the victim of an identity thief, it will be a horrible experience.  It can take a great deal of time, effort and stress to get the problem resolved.  It sometimes can take years to get the problems fixed and your credit restored.

First, there is no need for anyone to carry their social security card with them.  Most people already have memorized their social security number so they don’t need the card to remind them of the correct number.  Your social security card is the most dangerous form of identification to lose.  Once a thief has this information it will make it much easier for him to use your information to obtain credit.

You want to invest in a cross cut shredder.  These machines are not very expensive and they will be very helpful in protecting your identity.  Use your shredder and run your credit card statements through it before you toss them in the recycle bin. A thief does not need very much information in order to be able to ruin your financial life.  Buy a shredder and use it every time you get rid of anything containing personal information.  This includes things like bank statements, checks, credit card statements, utility bills – anything from which a thief might gain information.

Leave most of your credit cards at home if you are not planning to use them.  If you feel more comfortable you might want to carry just one in case of an emergency.  Instead of carrying several credit cards, carry a little cash with you.  If your wallet is lost or stolen and you are not carrying cards the only thing you have lost is a little cash.  If a thief does not have access to any of your credit cards or your social security card it will be much harder for him to create problems with your financial life.

Never carry more identification than you really need.

Never click on an email link that takes you to a website and then put in your personal information.  In fact, unless you are sure of the source, never click on an email link.  If you receive an email with a link from a source you use, such as your bank, instead of clicking on the link go to that company’s website yourself.

Never give out any personal information to someone who calls you on the phone.  If you made the call to them that is different.  But, if you receive a call from someone saying they are your bank, etc. it may be a scam.  Give the caller no information and instead call the company back yourself.  Do not use any number the caller gives you.  Instead, look up the correct number and then call it.

If you follow these tips you can help protect yourself from identity theft.  Some people do not feel comfortable trying to protect themselves from identity theft.  There are identity theft protection companies available which do a good job.  These companies help protect your identity and provide their customers with peace of mind.