How You Can Prevent Identity Theft

May 19, 2017

How Can You Prevent Identity Theft?

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

A major source of identity theft occurs from stolen wallets. It is our 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/reward cards in your wallet? Less is more!
  • Try to minimize what you carry in your wallet. Cards that you don’t use on a regular basis, leave at hom
    • Make a detailed list of what is in your wallet.
    • Photocopy all of the cards and keep in a safe place.
    • Write all contact numbers beside the photocopied card for quick reporting

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 as well.

Keep your Birth Certificate at home. Most places accept your Driver’s License for identification.

Cheque Books: Some ladies wallets provide a space for this. Leave your cheque book at home! This is just another avenue for identity theft.

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 shred sensitive materials?

Throwing your sensitive materials in the trash is another source for identity theft. Invest in a shredder to destroy documents, statements and expired credit cards.

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.

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.