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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Tips to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft!!!

(Photo found via Google image search. Image located at this site. I DO NOT know anything about that site nor am I promoting it. Just giving the site credit for the image. )

Prevent identity theft by following some very simple rules:

1) ALWAYS destroy your mail that you throw in the trash or recycle bin! You can invest in a shredder to shred your mail. You can cut up your mail. You can tear it up. You can even dissolve your mail in a mixture of bleach and water. (I saw that one on a show last night!) ALWAYS make sure that anything that has your name, address, personal information/medical information, bank information, credit card information, etc is DESTROYED somehow before discarding in the trash.

2) ALWAYS peel off prescription bottle labels and tear them in pieces before throwing away an empty bottle. If someone gets ahold of a prescription label, they can not only steal your medical and personal information, but they can also create fake prescriptions to retrieve your medication.

3) ALWAYS destroy any school paperwork that identifies where you, your spouse/SO or your children attend school.

4) NEVER give your social security number, date of birth, drivers license number, address, credit card or bank account information, etc to anyone over the phone IF you did NOT initiate the phone call.

5) ALWAYS destroy prescription lists and paperwork that the pharmacy sends home with your medications...IF it has any identifiable information on it, such as your name, prescription number, doctor's information, phone numbers, etc.

6) NEVER use public Wi-Fi access/hot spots to access your bank accounts, credit card accounts, email, social media or anything that you would use a password for. Public Wi-Fi accesses are hackers' paradises. Save these types of sites for your own private Wi-Fi network, i.e. home access.

7) ALWAYS ask for proper ID when allowing any techs or repair guys to access your home. If someone shows up, and you did not arrange for them to show up, ask for their first and last name, company that they work for, and their ID, then look up the company's phone number (don't ask for it because they may give you a false one), and call the company to verify that the employee is who they are and that they have a valid reason for accessing your home.

8) If you are going away on vacation or will be gone from your home for a few days, ALWAYS put in a request with your mail man or post office to hold your mail. Do not let mail accumulate at your home. Same goes for packages!

9) Don't sign up for miscellaneous apps that you don't need! A lot of apps access your personal information that is not necessary. You are allowing them to invade your personal life and sometimes...your friends' too!

10) When shopping with a bank debit card that has a credit card logo, use your card as CREDIT whenever you can! DO NOT use your card pin number at gas pumps. If you have to use debit, go inside and make the purchase. Identity thieves put card skimmers on gas pumps all the time. You won't even notice it's on there. Once they skim your card, they have total access over your whole bank account!