Identity theft is a real threat, and it is only getting worse. Authorities can only do so much; you have to take steps to stay safe. The following are a few tips that should help keep your identity safe from the wrong hands.
Protect Personal Information
You want to make sure you keep all personal information to yourself. This means you cannot carry your social security number or other things like that in your wallet.
It also means you cannot give out this number to anyone over the phone or in person. The only time you can share this information is if you’ve verified you can trust who you are talking to, like a bank representative or an encrypted site.
Use Online Security
Part of the reason identity theft has hit more than 41 million Americans is because these thieves have more ways to access your information through the internet. This is the reason you want to step it up with your online protection by investing in good email security, spyware protection, and malware protection.
Make sure you take additional safe online practices seriously, such as creating a very unique password and changing the password every few months. You also want to make sure you only visit trusted sites, especially if it is a site you’ve never visited before. Try your best to avoid downloading files from the internet unless you trust the sender.
Shred the Paper Trail
Thieves still use old paperwork to steal your identity, so you need to make sure you aren’t leaving a paper trail behind you. There are a few ways you can do this; for example, you can shred all paperwork that contains sensitive material, even your notes containing old passwords or important numbers.
You should also make sure you clean your wallet or purse often. It is easy to keep important information in these locations and forget about them. Thieves know this and may target those accessories in hopes that they can steal your identity. Do your best to keep sensitive information out of your purse or wallet.
Learn to be Vigilant
Another important step to take is to be vigilant. A lot of times, identity thieves are counting on you not checking your bank or credit activity often. Most people do not check their activity often, which is how a thief can use a person’s identity for a long time before anyone catches on.
What you want to do is make sure you log in to your accounts periodically. You also want to make sure you use free credit score reports to see if anything strange is going on on your report. It is imperative that you contact your financial institutions if you notice anything suspicious.
These are just some of the steps you can take to keep your identity safe from criminals. You can talk to financial experts to see if they have additional suggestions for you.
Identity Magazine is all about guiding women to discover their powersÂ of Self-Acceptance,Â Appreciation, and PersonalÂ Achievement.
We ask that every contributor and expert answerÂ the Identity questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with theÂ current article they have written.Â In that way, and as a team, we hope toÂ encourageÂ and motivateÂ each other, thus inspiringÂ you to Get All A’s.
1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? Additionally, what are you still working on accepting? Now, weâ€™re not talking about resignation, rather stepping into, embraced, and owned.
I have accepted that I will never find perfect balance at as a mom, and no matter how others perceive me as a working mom, both being a mom and a professional help me to progress as a woman.
2. Appreciation is everything. What have you learned to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? On the other hand OR in contrast, are there elements of who you are that youâ€™re still working on appreciating?
Iâ€™m grateful for the resilience that my trials have instilled in me. As hard as my trials have been they have helped me empathize with others more and to become a better person.
3. Share with us one of your most rewarding achievements in life? Tell us not only what makes YOU most proud but also share the goals and dreams that you still have.
Becoming a mother and feeling the love of my children has been the most rewarding experience of my life. That love coupled with a desire to maintain their love and respect is one of my biggest motivators in life.