Courtesy of Dagley Insurance Partner Patricia Vice, Texas Security Shredding
In the digital, you must be even more diligent in making efforts to avoid identity theft. According to a recent report, U.S.households experienced about $13.3 billion in direct financial losses due to identity theft in 2010. Ensuring that thieves have few windows of opportunity to commit identity theft should be one of our top priorities when it comes to safeguarding our home and family.
There are a few habits you can adopt to decrease your family’s risk for identity theft:
1. Don’t shred lightly.
Shred any records that contain private information. Thieves can tape the shredded strips of paper back together; therefore, crosscut shredding is your best protection.
2. Stick to a mailsafeplan.
Check your mailbox often so that you keep it emptied most of the time. It’s best not to use your mailbox for outgoing mail. This will safeguard your mailbox from being picked over by a thief.
3. Secure your social security number.
Having your social security number gives a thief a lot of avenues to choose from when it comes to access to your assets. Although it used to be common practice, it’s best not to carry your card with you. Try to keep items or documents with your social security number listed to an absolute minimum.
4. Adopt a No Receipt Left Behind Policy.
It’s tempting to toss a gas station or fast food receipt,but instead hold onto it until it can be shredded.
5. Keep your eye on the card.
The moment your card is out of your sight is a moment that adept thieves can take full advantage.
6. DO get on the Do Not Call List.
This will allow you to opt out of credit card solicitations,closing one more window of opportunity for theft. Remember, you must register your numbers every five years.
7. Review your statements.
Make sure you can account for every transaction and their location before paying your bill.
8. Have an emergency reference list.
The more credit cards you have, the higher your vulnerability for identity theft.
Keep a list of your credit card numbers along with the customer service number for each company in a safe place.
For more information on how to secure your company’s private information and documents, please contact Patricia Vice, owner of Texas Security Shredding at 800-308-2366.