Identity is embedded into all aspects of life, from signatures to fingertips. It is important to know where these items are located and what is entrusted to the World Wide Web. Monitoring details of finances and identification is a key to safety! One should hold their own keys to lock down life’s codes, numbers, and transactions.
Don’t let the details fall into someone else’s hands. Follow these tips to enhance identity protection.
- Keep financial documents and other sources of identification secure in files (i.e., birth certificates, social security cards, and passports or visas).
- Know what needs to be paid, how you can pay it, and when it is due. Keep an eye on account balances. Tie up any loose ends, unpaid balances, and close dormant accounts.
- Feed documents to the shredder after balances and charges are paid off.
- Know your credit score. Request a free credit report annually. And, if you’re in the process of moving to the US, do you know how to transfer your credit report over with you? Is Credit Score International? Credit reports used to stop at the border but now not having to build credit from scratch can be a real blessing when you want to apply for credit cards, loans, housing and more in the States.
- Know when too much is too much! Limit the amount of credit cards and open accounts. The more you have, the more likely it is you will lose track of its activities, payment due dates, and balances as well as any “mysterious” charges or withdrawals. Try to stick with one financial institution to hold all accounts and/or major credit cards.
- Don’t save usernames or passwords on mobile banking applications.
- Look for these characters when conducting financial transactions online (purchasing or banking): Trust-E, https, Better Business Bureau, or sites displaying privacy policies.
- Change passwords to (online) accounts frequently.
- Avoid providing your social security number to random applications, telephone solicitors, e-mail inquiries or job listings (especially avoid providing credit score information).
If you don’t know, someone else might! Don’t take on, or give away, more than needed. Be mindful and remain organized. It will keep your identity under lock and key.
By: Lindsey Kunz