Steps You Should Take To Protect Your Identity
Your identity is not just personal to you, but also something that is built with a lot of care and investment. Starting with something as simple as your name, to your identity on social networks, or as a business owner, it’s all about brand management. And in this case the brand is the most important one ever – ‘You’. So it’s scary to note that there are identity thieves out there who benefit from stealing your identity. Doesn’t it make sense then to invest in some solid steps to protect your identity?
The Paper Portions
Your identity consists of documents and credentials of various kinds. Some of these ‘paper’ credentials are:
- – Credit and debit cards.
- – Driver’s license.
- – Bank statements.
- – Any other identity card – social security number and so on.
Keep all these cards safe. You should also shred or get rid of papers that you don’t need. Bank statements and credit card statements should not merely be thrown away, they should be shredded and then thrown away. Put every other important document in a safe.
Passwords are essential to access every important piece of information pertaining to your life online. So why not take the time to create unique, strong and ‘unguessable’ passwords? Here are some things you should do:
- – Create strong passwords – use a mix of letters, numbers, special characters and upper case letters.
- – Stay away from using your name, date of birth, spouse’s name or pet’s name in your passwords.
- – Use different passwords for different things.
- – Guard your password diligently. Never let people read your screen when you’re inputting your passwords.
Check and Clean
Read all of your financial statements thoroughly. Check for any suspicious entries, credit and debit, in your bank account. You should also use the facility of your free credit reports every year and see the changes in your rating or score. Clean out your wallet regularly. Old bills, ATM slips and many other things have a habit of accumulating in your wallet and you’ll never know when one goes stolen from your purse or wallet.
If you do a lot of online shopping, banking and so on, you should invest money and time in updating your software and encryption levels. Anti-virus software can protect you rather efficiently. You should also be aware of phishing scams and never open unknown emails with attachments. Be aware that hackers can gain access to email accounts of people you know and then send you suspicious emails with malware-filled attachments.
It’s a great idea to invest in professional identity protection services. Such service providers will alert you on any suspicious activity and will also help you take preventive measures when it comes to protecting your identity. There’s no doubt that you have to be conscious and deliberate about protecting your identity.