Protect Your Financial Identity
Order copies of your credit report once a year to ensure they are accurate. Since data can differ between the three national credit-reporting agencies, it is recommended you request your report from all three.
Consumers are entitled to free credit reporting once every twelve months, which is provided through annualcreditreport.com. If you wish to receive more frequent reports, you may choose to use a credit monitoring service.
Monitor Your Accounts
Keep an eye on your accounts throughout the year by reading your monthly/periodic statements thoroughly. That's an easy way for you to be sure that all of the activity in your accounts was initiated by you.
Safeguard Personal and Financial Data
When disposing of account statements, receipts, pre-approved credit offers or anything else that may contain personal or financial information, tear up or shred all documents before throwing them away.
- Don't write down your user names, passwords or other codes like personal identification numbers (PINs) on your ATM or debit card. Software and devices exist where you can store this information securely if you don’t feel you can memorize it.
- When you pay your bills, if possible deposit them in a locked mailbox or bring them to the post office. Putting them in your mailbox with the red flag up is a flashing neon sign telling crooks there may be valuable information to grab.
- Don't carry your Social Security card, passport, or birth certificate with you unless you need it that day.
More tips like these, as well steps to take if you feel you are the victim of identity theft, can be found on the following sites:
Additional Resources on Keeping Your Information Safe: