Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

by Dual Income No Kids on June 8, 2009 · 0 comments

It is more essential than ever before to safeguard personal information. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, last year there was a 47% increase in data breeches, affecting 35.7 million Americans.

Here are the top ways to protect yourself:

Don’t carry sensitive personal information. Top on this list is to keep your social security card filed safely at home or, better yet, in a safe deposit box.

Don’t give out your Social. If you live in the real world you’ve likely experienced several phishing attempts to know what these are like. Don’t give out any information on something that you didn’t initiate the call – even then you shouldn’t always be fully trusting.

Shred account statements. Make sure that your financial info doesn’t get out there from your own recycling bin. Another option to shreading are these scissors that I’ve been meaning to get.

Use Secure Websites. Make sure it starts with https instead of just http; it often also shows a padlock as well. Another reason not to steal wireless from your neighbors.

Anti-virus, anti-spam, and personal firewalls. Make sure that these are up to date so hackers aren’t coming through.

Keep your Alert Up. Make sure you pay attention to charges or anything suspicious.

Not all identity theft looks the same, here are a few examples from friends and self:

Private phone line. A good friend had her identity stolen and someone charged thousands of dollars to a private phone line in a city where she had never lived. Luckily she was out of the country so it was easier to prove that it wasn’t here. If that was your neighbor I bet it would be harder to manage.

Clothes Horde. Here in DC a colleague’s wife figured out that she had her identity stolen when she realized that clothing was being shipped to an address only a few blocks from her.

Wal-mart spree. While in Kabul I was alerted by my bank that there had been three identical charges at a Wal-mart in Florida that tipped them off. They were nice enough to alert me and then take it off right away. Thanks ING!

Good luck keeping your identity safe. Not only can it cost you a lot of time to restore, but there is always a risk of substantial financial loss. If you’ve got stories to share please feel free to leave comments.



Get Your FREE Ebook


DINKS (Dual Income No Kids) Finance focuses on personal finance for couples. While by no means financial experts, we strive to provide readers with new, innovative ways of thinking about finance. Sign up now to get our ebook, "Making Money Tips for Couples" FREE.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: