How to protect my identity
Tips on how to protect your identity
Here are some tips to protect your identity offline
and online. The basic idea is to make you less of
an easy target and limit the opportunity for
others to get your personal and financial information.
The "protect your identity tips" below are all
important and are in no particular order.
Limit the amount of debit cards, credit cards,
charge cards, and merchant cards you have. The more
cards you have, the more cards can be stolen, and
the more cards you have to keep track of.
Pay with cash:
We live in a society of plastic, but do you really
need to pay with a credit card when you buy a cup of coffee?
Most vendors take credit cards these days, but that
does not mean it is safe. Do not pay with a card at
restaurants, bars, or other places where the card is
out of your sight. Even if it is within your sight,
think twice about it. Is this establishment or
business safe? For example, do you know what the
plumber does with your information? Is it just left
in his truck on his next call? Recently, we have
even seen large corporations not being able to keep
your information safe.
Keep wallet and purse clean:
Don't make your wallet or purse a treasure chest
if it gets lost or stolen. Only keep what you
need with you. Clean out old cards, stuff you
don't use, and receipts and other personal
Keep mailbox safe and limit its use:
Make sure that your mailbox outside your home
has a lock. Take all outgoing mail to the post office.
Even with a lock, limit the amount of mail you get.
Most companies now offer online invoices and statements.
There is a lot of distance between you and the people
you do business with. Mail can be intercepted many places
along the way. In other words, limit the use of the
postal service for exchanging personal information.
You can further limit the financial offers you get
by limiting who can check your credit score. Go here
to stop businesses from checking your score.
Shred everything you don't need to keep:
Do not put anything with personal information on it
into the trash or recycle bin. This is probably one you know. It is obvious, but
we mention it anyway to make sure you remember.
Make sure to keep track of all your charges, deposits,
and withdrawals. Furthermore, make sure that you have
received all invoices and that all checks have been
cashed by the correct company. You should also check
your credit with the three credit bureaus on a regular
basis to make sure the information is correct. You
can check it for free once a year here.
Keep computer safe:
Make sure that your computer has an updated operating
system, updated virus protection, and that the firewall
is turned on. Furthermore, make sure that your computer
is password protected. Before discarding an old computer,
the hard drive should be professionally cleaned. Simply
deleting the data will not be sufficient.
Keep smartphone safe:
Your smartphone contains a lot of information. It could
provide a wealth of information if it gets into the wrong
hands. Make sure it has a strong password and a kill
switch, so you can delete its information remotely.
Furthermore, your smartphone is like a computer, and
you should also make sure it is updated regularly to
close any security holes.
Keep tablet or laptop safe:
Use the same tips and caution that we noted with the
computer and smartphone above.
Turn off bluetooth and wireless:
Turn off bluetooth on your phone and other mobile
devices when you don't use them. Also, turn off wireless
when you are out and about. There are wireless hotspots
that are made to get your information. Don't connect
to wireless hotspots that you do not know are safe.
A compromised wireless connection may allow someone to intercept
all of your information.
Keep strong wireless password:
Make sure you have a strong wireless password and encryption
on your home network. You do not want someone on the
outside to be able to connect to your network and possibly
Use different passwords:
Do not use the same password for everything. Use different passwords so
you are more protected if one site is compromised.
Of course, all your passwords should be strong including all
the different kinds of characters and symbols.
Memorize all of your passwords. NEVER write down a password
on a file on your computer or anywhere else.
Be very careful with social media. People may not
be who they say they are. Before you download
software for your computer or an app for your smartphone,
make sure that it is legitimate. Read reviews from multiple
sources and double check where the software or app is coming from. Be careful about
opening email attachments. Did it really come
from your friend? Did they send it intentionally?
When surfing, only go to reputable sites like
Don't give information to people who ask for it:
If someone calls you, emails you, or you get a notice
on your computer screen, NEVER NEVER give them any personal
information. It does not matter if they say they
are from the bank you use, the credit card company
you use, the computer manufacturer you use, or anything else.
Delete, hang-up, or whatever, and use your contact
information to call who they claimed to be to see
if it was a scam or not. Don't call the number they
Use common sense, simplify, monitor, and stay on top
of security. Remember, a lot of personal information is
collected by the wrong people, because victims simply give
it to them or make it easily available.
The page above was created by Research Maniacs and
may not be copied or reproduced. The goal of the
article is to give free advice and tips to protect your
identity. We answer questions like: How to protect
my identity online? and How to protect my identity