How to protect yourself from identity theft

How to protect yourself from identity theft in 10 easy steps.

ID-300x2001. Shred it

Think twice before you let bills, receipts, statements and solicitations leave your house in one piece. Shred financial and medical statements, pre-approved credit card offers and other solicitations, preferably with a cross-cut shredder.

2. Stash it

Rather than throw away receipts and other documents at the airport, shopping center or at work, bring them home and shred them.

locked-mailbox-300x3003. Lock it up

To avoid thieves who steal credit-card offers from your mailbox or, worse, take bills waiting for the postal carrier and then doctor the checks, get a locking mailbox. If you’re home a lot, you can instead get a device lets you know when your mailbox has been opened.

4. Financial diligence

Protecting your credit, your banking and brokerage accounts is particularly important and worthy of special effort.

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6. Check ups

Monitor all your financial accounts on a regular basis, looking for any unusual transactions. Report any improper charges or withdrawals to your bank immediately.

In addition, sign up for email alerts for your bank and credit card accounts, so that you’ll get a text message or email if large or unusual transfers are made or your balance is unusually low.

red-flag7.Red flags.

If you get a notice that your email address or mailing address has been changed, it’s a sign that someone may be trying to hijack your account.

Contact the sender immediately.

bad-credit-report-300x3008. Freeze it.

You can add a security freeze to each of your credit reports, preventing the credit reporting agency from releasing any information about you without your express authorization.

These freezes must be lifted if you plan to apply for credit.

password-security-300x1649. Opt out.

To opt out of pre-approved credit card offers.

10. Password savvy

Give each of your high value online accounts a unique password that includes symbols as well as letters and numbers.

Memorize those passwords; if you must write them down, keep them in a locked drawer.

Before you get rid of an old computer, consider a data wipe utility program to stop someone from recovering information off your hard drive.

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What not to do.

Don’t get complacent about your important information.
Identity theft, all too often, is committed by people we know, including family, friends, roommates and employees.

Don’t save passwords on your work computer.
Don’t take the risk that someone else will have access to your computer. Don’t save those passwords on library, hotel or other public computers, either.

Don’t fall victim to phishing.
Phishing refers to emails that look like they come from your bank, brokerage or cell phone company, but actually are fraudulent. Typically, they ask for personal information, such as your Social Security number, account number or passwords. No legitimate company would ever request that kind of information from an email.

Don’t keep your Social Security card in your wallet.
Your card should be kept in a secure, locked firebox.

Please note: Visa payWave, Mastercard PayPass, & American Express ExpressPay are all registered trademarks of the afore mentioned relevant card issuing companies, These companies do not sponsor or officially endorse this website. ARMOURCARD’s only association is that we are able to protect these companies cards from being wirelessly skimmed with our patented technology.

* International Patent Application filed: PCT/AU2013/001415