How Can You Prevent Identity Theft?

May 15, 2019

How Can You Prevent Identity Theft?

Let’s discuss: “What’s in Your Wallet?”

For those of you who have had your wallet stolen, you are very aware that this plays a huge role in identity theft. If you have never had your wallet stolen, I hope that the following tips will encourage you to go through your wallet and downsize items to a bare minimum!

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you really require 20 credit cards in your wallet? Less is more!
  • It is a very huge task contacting all these companies in the event your wallet is stolen. The perps can easily rack up charges before you contact all credit card agencies. Most stores, gas stations, etc. accept VISA or MASTERCARD.
  • Keep your Social Insurance Card at home. Memorize the number. Protect this number at all costs. If someone asks you for it, ask them why they require it and how they will safeguard it. If you are not comfortable giving it out, just say NO! This should be applied to your Driver’s License also.
  • Keep your Birth Certificate at home. Most places accept your Driver’s License for identification.
  • If you have Reward Cards, make photo copies of all of them and keep in a safe place. Again, if your wallet is stolen, you have a readily available list at your fingertips to call in and report. Write all phone numbers beside the photocopied card for quick reporting. Same goes for your credit cards.
  • Cheque Books: Some Ladies wallets allow a space to slide your cheque book into. If they have your wallet with your signed cards, they can easily forge the signature and start writing cheques! Leave your cheque book at home!
  • Do not write your P.I.N.’s down on a piece of paper and place in your wallet. You have just given the perp easy access!

Have You Ever Checked Your Credit Report?

You should check your credit report regularly to ensure that there are no fraudulent credit cards opened in your name. If your S.I.N. card was stolen, it is very easy for someone to set up a new account with a fake name, address and phone number.

Do you Check Your Credit Card Statements?

An easy way to ensure your credit card statements are correct, is to keep all your receipts in an envelope. When your statement arrives, check off all receipts and attach to the statement. If there is any fraudulent activity, you are able to provide the credit card company evidence. Deal with it immediately if there are any discrepancies! If your Credit card is stolen, you have on record all of the transactions you made, which assists with the credit card agency.

Do You Shred Sensitive Materials?

Your identity can be stolen through your garbage! If you are placing sensitive materials into the trash, it has become a “Thief’s” treasure! Invest in a shredder to protect your identity! Shred those expired credit cards too!

How Secure is Your Mail?

Make an effort to pick your mail up every day. Not doing so, makes this very tempting for thieves. If you are away, have someone pick up your mail or ask the post office to hold on to it upon your return.

Who do you Share your Information with?

Be very selective when sharing information. Do not give out over the phone, mail or internet unless you know who you are sharing it with!

ATMs

Be very observant when using your ATM card. If someone is showing interest in your transaction, cancel it immediately and leave, Try and shield the keypad when entering your P.I.N. Never let your card out of your sight. Same goes for Credit Cards when you are using them at various locations.

Passwords:

Never use the same password for all your accounts. Even though it is easier on your memory, it makes it easier for the thief to steal access to all of your accounts.  Don’t use pets names, birthdates etc. for passwords. Use a combination of letters, numbers or symbols for stronger protection.

How secure is your Computer?

Do you have a firewall or antivirus program? By installing these, it will prevent any undesirable hackers gaining access to your computer.