Nobody cares more about protecting your identity than you.
Be aware. Be protective. Be proactive.
What you can do to protect your identity
- Do not give your SSN without knowing the purpose of its usage and how it's being used
- Pull your credit report with the three major credit reporting agencies annually
- Shred personal documents
- Be mindful what you share on social media sites
- Check your children's credit reports as children are often victims of this crime since they do not start to access their credit until around 18 years of age
- Do not leave sensitive documents out in the open
- Monitor your checking, saving and other bank accounts
- Be aware of sensitive information you store on your computer that others might be able to access
- Do not respond to e-mails or phone calls from those you do not know requesting information
- If your information is accessed through a hack, place a fraud alert on your credit report through one of the main credit reporting agencies Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion (if you place an alert with one they will notify the other two); the initial alert will last for 90 days, you can renew the alert
Keep in mind that you can do all of these things, and still have your identity compromised. There can be untrustworthy people that have access to your information. Question the Entities who request and have access to your information as to what policies they have in place to prevent identity theft.
Entities who hold sensitive data also have a responsibility to ensure that appropriate measures are in place to protect consumers. View the GAPS Checklist for a list of basic questions when assessing identity theft risks.
Photo courtesy of Hartwig HKD
This website is for informational purposes only; it is not meant to be legal advice.