Incidents of identity theft continue to rise and many consumers assume this is because of the increase of computer technology as well as the increased use of consumer credit cards and debit cards. Although technology is one way that identity thieves can steal your financial information, there are also less obvious ways that you might not think of on a daily basis.
With this in mind, I thought I would share some helpful tips for making sure you protect yourself and your personal information!
Tip 1: Be Careful With Your Mail - Although it seems most convenient to drop mail in your home mailbox, it is best to go ahead and run by the post office to drop it in a safe place. Most homeowners don't consider that identity thieves might steal your personal information right out of your mailbox, especially bills being sent in for payment. These usually have a check attached, along with all your personal information!
Tip 2: No Personal Information Over the Phone - This seems obvious, but many consumers will inadvertently give out personal information to a caller who identifies themselves as your financial institution or credit card company. Remember that they will never call you and ask for information. They will only ask if you call them!
Tip 3: Don't Carry Your Social Security Card - There is rarely an occasion where you will need your social security card, yet many people carry theirs in plain sight in a wallet or purse. An identity theft can easily have a driver's license or other personal information ordered in your name is they have your SS card.
Tip 4: Never Carry or Write Down Passwords - We have all begun to feel safe, and even complacent, about our financial information because they are now password protected. Writing down those passwords takes away that safety though. Only uses passwords that you can remember by memory, otherwise this takes away the point of the password. Don't use obvious passwords that a thief could figure out from reviewing your personal records.
Tip 5: Lock Up Your Personal Affects - Whether you are at work or a gym don't trust that just because you seem friendly, familiar faces your personal information is safe. Unfortunately, many employees have had their entire wallet stolen from a co-worker while they were at lunch.
Hopefully you can make use of these tips to keep your personal information protected and your financial assets in place!
Contact your GDI Broker for assistance.