Protecting your identity is a process… one that you have to commit to every day!
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, consider starting small and with something that
is already part of your daily routine, either in your pocket or purse. Yes, I’m
talking about your wallet.
If your wallet were stolen at this very moment, how many forms of identity and
payment would a thief have? Chances are, if you aren’t making a conscious
effort to safeguard your identity, your wallet may contain personally
identifiable information that thieves could easily use to steal your identity.
Here are some tips to help you evaluate and safeguard your wallet:
- Be aware of what forms of ID you carry so that in the event of theft, you
would know who to contact to report the theft. Driver’s license can be sold to
others who may look like you.
- Have you signed the back of the card, or does it say “See Photo ID”? And how
many cards do you carry? Debit card theft will immediately impact your checking
account, whereas fraudulent charges on a credit card won’t impact your ability
to pay bills. Also, what type of cards do you carry? If it’s an RFID credit card, you should have an RFID-blocking
wallet so that electronic pick pocketers cannot steal your credit card
information. Chip and PIN
credit cards can make it more difficult for thieves to use the card in person,
but this type of card is as vulnerable as any other credit card when it comes
to Internet purchases and stores where chip card readers are not present.
- If you carry your checkbook or a few blank checks in your wallet, be sure
that you have Securiguard
checks to reduce the risk of check
washing and/or duplication and that you have
check fraud protection, such as that offered by
- Unless it is absolutely necessary (e.g. applying for a passport) do NOT carry
your Social Security card, or anything with your social, in your wallet. Also,
do not keep any record of your PIN or other account numbers in your wallet.
The bottom line is to only carry information with you that you absolutely need.
That way, if your wallet is lost or stolen, your chances of identity theft are
minimized. Also, always carry your wallet on you and never leave it unattended
or easily accessible to others.