In the 1960’s, a popular notion was the idea of “finding yourself.” These days, with the prevalence of identity theft, it’s safe to say that even if you are unable to find yourself, someone else might!
Consider the numbers. In our country with more than 300 million people, over a billion records containing personal information are leaked each year. With this fact in mind, it shouldn’t be too surprising that identity theft is the No. 1 consumer complaint received by the Federal Trade Commission. While the inconvenience from identity theft is bad enough, the potential financial losses and damage to your credit rating add insult to injury.
Although there are no ironclad guarantees, the good news is there are actions savvy shoppers can take to avoid becoming a victim:
• Social Security number: As your Social Security number is a linchpin for your identity, leave home without it. In other words, do not carry your Social Security card or number in your wallet. Even better, keep it in a secure spot in your home.
• Home: Outside of a home wireless network, your biggest potential vulnerability lies with the mail. Essentially, letters inside your mail box can be swiped and the correspondence you throw away can be a target for Dumpster divers looking for personal information. In addition to picking up mail as promptly as possible, be sure to shred or at least tear up documents with personal information before putting it in the trash. In addition, have the post office…