Protecting your personal information is critical to your financial health. You want to reduce your risk of identity theft (and possible debt in your name) and make sure that all of your information is secure. It’s the best way to have peace of mind! Therefore, here are some tips to follow that will help to keep your information safe.
6 Tips for Protecting Your Personal Information
We all strive to keep our sensitive information out of the wrong hands. Therefore, here are six steps you can take to protect your personal information.
- Ask about privacy policies. Before you reveal any identifying information, find out how it will be used and whether it will be shared with others. Will you have a choice about the use of your information? Can you choose to have it kept confidential?
- Password protection. Put passwords on your ALL of your accounts. Avoid using easily accessible information like your mother’s maiden name, birthday, the last four digits of your SSN, or phone number. Another general tip is to avoid information that fraudsters can figure out by searching you on Google or Facebook!
- Only carry what you need. One way to protect your personal information is to minimize what you carry. Carrying all of your credit cards, license, and other identifying information in one place makes it easy for someone to take everything in one swoop. So, try to leave items you won’t need at home to minimize risk of identity theft.
- Use secure networks. Public Wi-Fi networks are not secure and make it easy for strangers to tap into your devices. Consequently, make sure you only use secure networks!
- Safely store or shred sensitive information. A lot of common paperwork has identifying information that we want to keep out of the wrong hands. Make sure you shred or store receipts, insurance or doctor’s forms, bank statements, and other sensitive documents properly. As a result, you will thwart an identity thief who may pick through your trash or recycling bins to capture your personal information.
- Check your credit report. Finally, consumers can get one free copy of their credit report every year. Read it over and make sure all of the information is accurate. Then, if you find a mistake or potentially fraudulent information, contact your creditors immediately. You can get a free copy from AnnualCreditReport.com.
If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today.