Identity theft has quickly become a major consumer concern in the United States. Sources in the banking and credit card industries have reported that identity thieves are becoming more skilled at their crimes every day, and suggest that people of all ages should pay more attention to their own financial well being. Here are some simple, precautionary measures you can take to protect your personal financial history.
All U.S. citizens are entitled to receive 1 free credit report per year, from each of the 3 major credit bureaus. Visit annualcreditreport.com to get a copy of your credit report and make sure your data checks out.
From web sites to bank accounts, everything seems to require a username and password these days. When using your debit/ATM card, try and choose a password that is easy to remember. By memorizing your ATM password, you eliminate the need to store it in your purse or wallet where it could be lost or stolen.
Unless it is absolutely necessary, try and refrain from giving out your Social Security number to those who may not need it. Your Social Security number is your single most important piece of identifying information.
Take the time to make a list of all your bank account and credit card numbers. Use a safety deposit box or another secure location to store your list. Having this information in a single location can make life much easier if your identity is ever compromised.