In today’s economy, part of securing a good job is having great credit. You’re hard pressed to find a company that doesn’t run credit checks on all potential employees, if not full background checks. Credit card companies, bank loans and mortgages are given out based on credit history. So just imagine the damage that identity theft can do to your financial stability.
But there are things you can do to reduce your risk of identity theft.
- Try not to carry any more personal information on your person than is absolutely necessary. Theft of wallets and purses is one way that thieves can take on your identity.
- Be cautious when shopping online. Some banks provide temporary card information to use for one-time purchases online so that even if that merchant’s security is compromised, you are still kept safe. Take advantage of these programs.
- Keep firewall, anti-spyware and anti-virus programs up to date on any and all devices which access your network. Yes, this includes your tablets and cell phones.
- Keep passwords free of social security numbers, mother’s maiden names and other easily grasped information.
- Shred any documents that contain personal information, such as bank statements, loan statements, bills and receipts.
- Monitor your accounts closely. You can sign up for access to your credit score, as well as alerts when changes take place regarding your credit. By keeping a close eye on things, you can ensure that any fraudulent transactions or new accounts are handled quickly and not able to negatively affect your credit or finances.