Protecting Your Identity
- Monitor your credit. Check your credit report regularly. Obtain your Social Security Earnings and Benefits statement once a-year to ensure that no one is using your social security number for employment. Social Security Administration (800) 772-1203.
- Check your bills. Carefully study your credit card statements, phone and utility bills and cancelled checks for unauthorized use.
- Carry only what you need. Try to leave your social security card and extra credit cards in a safe place. Protect your records. Keep a list of all your bank accounts, credit cards, account numbers, and customer service numbers in a secure place.
- Choose proper passwords. When creating personal identification numbers (PIN) avoid using anything easy to figure out, and change them regularly.
- Keep your Social Security number secret. Don’t give it out. It’s only necessary for certain items such as tax forms, employment records, banking, and property transactions.
- Shred any documents that have any personal information or credit account numbers on them before discarding.
- Cover the screen or keypad when using an ATM or public phone so thieves can’t read your personal identification number (PIN).
- Mail Strategically. Always drop your mail in the U.S. Postal blue boxes or at the post office, don’t leave it in your mailbox at home.