10 id theft tips july 2014


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10 tips to keep your identity secure

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10 id theft tips july 2014

  1. 1. 10 Ways To Avoid Identity Theft
  2. 2. 1. Only Carry Necessary Items • Only put items you’ll need in your wallet or purse • One credit card is usually enough to carry around • Never, under any circumstances should you keep in your wallet: – Social Security Card – Copy of your birth certificate – More than 1 or 2 credit cards Wikipedia/ WalletMpegMan
  3. 3. 2. Know exactly what’s in your wallet • If your wallet is stolen, it’ll make “damage control” much easier if you know all items in the wallet • You should have the numbers and expiration dates of the credit card(s) in your wallet written down in a safe place • Make photocopies of some of the items in your wallet, like – Your driver’s license – Health insurance cards – Other IDs Flickr/ knuck13s
  4. 4. 3. Be careful about your mail • You need to be cautious about what you send and receive in the mail • Never send through the mail – Your Social Security Number – Bank account numbers or PIN numbers – Identifying information like your date of birth • Requesting paperless statements from banks and credit cards makes your mailbox a less vulnerable place • Consider buying a locking mailbox (pictured) – These are available at home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s www.retrorenovation.com
  5. 5. 4. Beware of phishing scams • Just because you receive an email from your bank doesn’t mean it really came from your bank • It is completely fine to call your bank to verify the origin of any email communications • Bear in mind that most legitimate bank and credit card emails will never ask for personal information Public domain
  6. 6. 5. Skimmers and cameras • Be very cautious about using your credit/debit cards in unmonitored places like – Gas pumps – Non-bank ATMs – Self-serve kiosks • Thieves install small devices on these card readers which steal your information • Cameras are also used often to capture PIN numbers being entered Public domain
  7. 7. 6. Be careful on the phone • Thieves are known to call, pretending to be a representative from your bank or credit card company • Never give out personal information on a call you didn’t originate Public domain
  8. 8. 7. Use complex passwords and PINs • The 5 most commonly used passwords of 2013 were 123456, “password”, 12345678, “querty”, and abc123 • The most common PIN numbers are 1234, 1111, and 0000 – In fact, by simply guessing the 10 most common PIN numbers, thieves could hack more than 20% of debit cards! • If your password or PIN is listed above, you are ASKING to become a fraud victim! • Use a combination of numbers, letters, and special characters (like ! And ?) that has absolutely nothing to do with your life • Example: a45$1!b6r Public domain
  9. 9. 8. Buy a paper shredder • Believe it or not, there are thieves who would love to dig through your garbage and find personal information • Shred or otherwise destroy any piece of paper with – Social security numbers – Credit card information – Your date of birth – Employment information (like pay stubs) – Bank information – Other commonly used identifying information like your mother’s maiden namePublic domain
  10. 10. 9. Photos are the best identifiers • If possible, request credit and debit cards with your photo on them • Many companies offer this at no extra charge • At least try to get your photo on the cards you carry around
  11. 11. 10. Freeze your credit • Freezing your credit makes it impossible for anyone (including you) to open a new credit account • However, it is relatively easy to temporarily lift the freeze when you need to • This is the most powerful credit security tool at your disposal
  12. 12. Your credit card may soon be completely worthless!
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