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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Follow These 5 Tips to Help Secure Your Identity

By Harvey Warmuth

Identity theft is an always present concern in today's society, so you really need to do what you can to ensure your identity is safe. Using your common sense is a great first step when it comes to securing your identity. You are the only one that truly suffers when your identity is stolen, so it is up to you to make sure you are safe.

Below are five tips that you should consider following if you want to make sure that your identity is safe. After all, it is up to you to make sure that your information remains secure.

1. Security of your mail: You probably receive a lot of mail that contains personal information that can be very useful to someone who want to steal your identity. Consider receiving bank statements online and opting out of receiving credit card applications to make it that much harder to steal your identity.

2. Debit card used as a credit card: Using your debit card as a credit card to make purchases places you at risk of having your card number stolen. Since the money from a debit card purchase comes directly out of your bank account, your money could be gone in a hurry. If you use a normal credit card, you are better protected in case your card number is stolen.

3. Writing checks: Do you still pay with checks? Do you understand that your checking account number and routing number is clearly printed on every check that you write. This information is very easily used to draw money directly out of your account without you knowing about it, so you really should stop writing checks.

4. One-time use credit card: If you are making purchases via a catalog or online, consider using a virtual credit card. These are one-time use credit card numbers that can only be used for one purchase, thus offering you protection if this card number ever gets in the hands of a criminal.

5. Personal information kit: You need to keep track of all of your account numbers associated with all of your bank accounts. You also need to make copies of important documents including your social security card and passport. You will need this information should you ever become a victim of identity theft, so now is the time to organize your financial life.

If you follow the above suggestions, then you are well on your way to protecting your identity. Another step you should consider is to subscribe to a stolen identity protection solution. This will assist in securing your identity so that you never become a victim of identity theft.

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