There is nothing worse than having your identity stolen. If someone steals your identity and information and manages to open credit cards in your name or use your identity to obtain money or something else, then it could take years for you to correct get your finances back in order and improve your credit score. Read on to learn the steps you need to take in order to secure your financial and personal information as well as protect your information from identity theft.
It is important that you do not use the same password for all of your secure information. This is a good way for your identity to be stolen. Make it a point to use a combination of letters, numbers, and different symbols to make all of your passwords tricky and to make it less likely that a thief can guess your password and get into secure information like your bank statements email.
If you do not receive a billing statment on time for more than 2 months, then find out why. Your statement could have been stolen and diverted to another address. Worse, you could be a victim of identity theft and someone may have hacked into your bank account or online account. Contact your bank immediately and make sure all of your information is correct and inquire about why you haven't received your financial statement.
Before you throw out any documents that contain your personal information, always run them through the paper shredder. This way you protect your personal and financial information from dumpster divers who search through garbage and trash hoping to find old bank statements or documents that may contain passwords or secure information that they can use to steal people's information or identity.
You should also put a lock on your mail box and forward all your mail to a P.O box at the post office if you know that you will be away from your home for a while or on vacation. This helps prevent people from obtaining documents in your mail that they can use to steal your identity.
Do not carry extra credit cards, your birth certificate, or your social security card around with you unless you absolutely need them. If you are going somewhere that require these documents then you should carry them with you. Also, don't take your wallet out unless you need it and never sit your wallet down anywhere. If you don't need these documents then its best to leave them in a safe at home or somewhere where they are safeguarded from potential thiefs.
If a business or someone requests your social security number for business or identification purposes, then ask them if it is possible to use another identification method or security measure. If they can't allow you to use another form of identification then its not that important to begin with.
These tips will help you prevent identity theft if you apply them to your security measures and personal finances. Good Luck!