Are you worried about how to protect your identity? If so, you need to know what you can do to protect yourself.
What You Can Do To Protect Yourself
First, the best way to protect yourself is to keep your information private. Make sure you know why your personal information is needed. You should also find out how it will be used before sharing. Other ways to protect your identity include:
Do not use personal information in email, text, or phone messages.
Legitimate companies will not ask for information this way. You should just delete the message.
Protect your Social Security number.
Do not give your Social Security number to people or companies you do not know.
Review privacy policies.
Destroy old documents.
Shred any information that you no longer need. Especially if it contains personally identifiable information and account numbers. This will include: credit card receipts, billing statements and pre-approved credit offers.
Keep your mail safe from theft.
Whenever possible, remove incoming mail as soon as you can. Also, you may also want to consider a locking mailbox. You should also take your outgoing mail to a post office collection box.
Carry only the essentials.
Unless necessary, do not carry any extra credit cards, your birth certificate, passport or your Social Security card with you.
Review your credit report.
The law requires that you are able to get a free copy of your credit report annually. You can get this from the three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Remember, you can stagger your report requests from each agency throughout the year. And, always look for any activity or inquiries that you are unable to explain. Visit annualcreditreport.com or call 1.877.322.8228
Review your statements.
First, carefully and promptly review all transaction confirmations, account statements and reports. Remember, regularly review your account(s). If you suspect or encounter any unauthorized activity on your account, call your personal financial advisor.
But, What To Do If You’ve Had Your Identity Stolen?
Immediately contact one of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion to request a fraud alert be placed on your file. This will make it more difficult for someone else to open new accounts or make any changes to your existing accounts.