Protect Your Identity

Are you concerned about protecting your identity? Have you wondered what you could do to protect yourself? We have a checklist for you to help in your fight to protect yourself from identity theft.

Safeguard your Social Security number

Don’t carry the card with you. When asked for your number, always ask why the information is needed.

Monitor account transactions frequently

Check your account statements carefully. If possible, review transactions online to spot problems before the monthly statement is received.

Watch out for suspicious e-mail

Any e-mail asking for your account information or to follow a link to enter account information is questionable. Be very skeptical if the e-mail threatens your account status as in “your account will be closed unless you respond immediately.” We will not communicate with you in this way. Please let us know if you receive a suspicious e-mail.

Limit access to important papers

Shred or otherwise destroy documents before putting them in the trash. Only keep documents you really need and keep those documents in a locked drawer.

Protect your PC from unwanted intrusion

Install a good firewall. Install anti-virus and anti-spyware software and update it weekly. Your internet service provider can show you how easy it is to do this.

Verify your credit report annually

It’s available free from www.annualcreditreport.com or any of the credit bureaus. It will include information on what to do if there are errors.

Limit what you carry in your wallet

Carry only those credit or debit cards that you need. Don’t carry an unsigned card or a card you aren’t planning to use.

Make sure your online passwords are secure

Passwords for financial information should be different from shopping or other site passwords. Create passwords that are difficult to detect. Don’t keep passwords written down near your computer.

Guard your PIN for your debit card or any other card

Don’t let others see you enter the PIN. If it’s written down, keep it in a secure place.

Pay bills electronically

Limit the number of checks you write by using other ways to pay your bills. Online bill payment, automatic monthly payments or telephone banking are other options that offer better protection. If you write checks, mail them at the post office.

Be persistent

Continue to pay close attention to the ways in which you can protect yourself from identity theft. Stay educated on the latest trends and scams. Minimize your risk by being proactive.

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