Keep all your documents and financial records locked and in a safe place in your home. At your workplace, also keep your wallet or wallet locked and in a safe place. Keep your information well and keep it out of the reach of the people you share your home or room with and workers entering your home.
Limit the number of cards and documents you carry. When you leave, carry only the identification and credit and debit cards you need for that exit. Leave your Social Security card at home. Make a copy of your Medicare card and tache in the copy all numbers except the last four digits. Bring the copy with you – unless you have to use the original card to go to the doctor’s office.
Before sharing your information at your workplace, at a business, at your child’s school, or at a doctor’s office, ask why they need it, how they will protect it, and whether there will be any consequences if you do not give them your information .
Shred purchase receipts, credit offers, credit applications, insurance forms, medical records, checks, bank account summaries, expired cards, and other similar documents when you no longer need them.
Destroy labels on your medicine containers before throwing them away. Do not give your health plan information to people who offer free health care products or services.
Take your outgoing correspondence to the mailboxes located in the post offices or directly at the post office. Please remove promptly the correspondence that arrives at the mailbox of your house. If you will be away from home for several days, ask for a retention holiday mail in the post office.
When ordering new checks, do not allow them to be mailed home unless you have a locked mailbox or padlock.
Consider opt out of pre – screened offers of credit and insurance mailed. You may decide not to receive them for 5 years or permanently. To request exclusion call 1-888-567-8688 or go to deltaextranet.org (in English). This phone number and website are operated by the 3 credit reporting companies. Preselected offers can provide several benefits. If you choose not to receive them you could miss out on some credit offers.
Protect your personal information on the internet
Know who you share your information with. Store and dispose of your personal information safely.
Stay alert to simulators
Know to whom you are giving your personal or financial information. Do not give out your personal information by phone, mail, or the internet, unless you have initiated the contact or know who you are dealing with. If you receive an email from a company that claims to have an account with you and ask for personal information, do not click on any electronic link in the email. Instead, write the name of the company in your internet browser, go to that site and contact the company through customer service. Or call the customer service phone number listed on your account statement. Ask if the company sent that email requesting the information.
Safely delete personal information
Before getting rid of your computer , delete all information stored in it. Use a sweep program to overwrite and clean the entire hard drive.
Before discarding a mobile device , see the device manual, the website of the service provider or the website of the device manufacturer to see information about removing the information permanently and how to store or transfer information to a new device. Remove the subscriber identity module (SIM) memory or card from a mobile device. Delete phone book and address data, lists of outgoing and incoming calls, voice messages, sent and received text messages, organizer folders, search history, and photos.
Encrypt your data
Control the security of your internet browser. To protect your transactions online, use an encryption program that encrypts the data sent over the internet. When you see a small image of a “padlock” in the status bar of your internet browser, your information will be protected during transmission. Before sending personal or financial information on the internet, look for the lock.
Do not share your passwords with anyone
Use strong passwords for your laptop and access your credit, bank and other accounts. Use your imagination: think of a special phrase and use the first letter of each word to create your password. Replace some words or letters with numbers. For example, “I want to see the Pacific Ocean” could become YQV3Re10P.
Do not share too much information on social networking sites
If you upload too much personal information, an identity thief can find information about your life and you can use them to answer the “key” verification questions to try to access your accounts, as well as your money and other personal information. Consider setting limits so that only a small group of people can access your social media page. Never disclose your full name, Social Security number, address, telephone number or account numbers on sites that are open to the public.
Protect your Social Security number
Hold tightly to your Social Security number and ask before giving it to someone else. Ask if you can use another type of identification. If someone asks you for your Social Security number or your child’s number, ask the following:
- Why you need it.
- How you will use it.
- How it will protect you.
- What happens if he does not give you his number.
The decision is yours. A business may refuse to provide you with a service or benefit if you do not provide your Social Security number. Sometimes you are required to supply your number. Your employer and financial institutions need your Social Security number to report wages and taxes. A business can ask you for your Social Security number to verify your credit when you apply for a loan, or they can also ask you to rent an apartment, or subscribe to a service.
Protect your computer and mobile devices
Use security programs
Install antivirus and anti-spyware programs, and a firewall. Configure program preferences so that protections are updated frequently. Protect your computer against intrusions and infections that could put your files or passwords at risk by installing the security patches offered by your operating system and other programs.
Avoid phishing emails
Do not open files, do not click on links, or download programs sent by strangers. When you open a file sent by a stranger could expose your computer system to a computer virus or spyware to capture passwords and other information you enter on your keyboard.
Be cautious with the use of Wi-Fi connections
Before sending personal information from your laptop or smart phone through a wireless network available to the public in a café, library, airport, hotel or some other public place, check if your information is protected. When using an encrypted website, keep in mind that the only protected information is the one you send and receive to and from that site. If you use a secure wireless network, all the information you send through that network will be protected.
Close access to your laptop data
Just keep financial information on your computer when necessary. Do not use the auto-connect option that stores your username and password, and always disconnect when you are finished using it. This way, if your computer is stolen it will be more difficult for the thief to access your personal information.
Read the privacy policies