Secure Personal Information

At Home

  • Take precautions if you have roommates, employ outside help, or are having repair work done on/in your home.
  • Lock personal information in a filing cabinet, safe, or bank safety deposit box.
  • Deposit outgoing mail in post office collection boxes or at your local post office, rather than in an unsecured mailbox.
  • Promptly remove mail from your mailbox.
  • Tear or shred your charge receipts, copies of credit applications, insurance forms, physician statements, checks and bank statements, expired charge cards that you’re discarding, and credit offers you get in the mail.
  • Shredder should be "cross-cut" style.
  • Never throw these items away without destroying!

In Your Vehicle

  • Do not leave sensitive information in your vehicle!
  • If unavoidable, make sure and hide your purse or wallet out of plain view.
  • Keep your vehicle locked at all times, when you are away from it.

Financial Instruments

  • When ordering new checks, pick them up from the bank instead of having them mailed to your home mailbox. Use a P.O. Box for the address (if available). Don’t pre-print your Social Security or Drivers License number on the checks. Don’t write full account numbers on them.
  • Credit and Debit Cards: passwords should use letters and numbers. PINs and passwords should be memorized!!
  • Don’t sign the back of your credit or debit cards, instead; write "Photo ID Required".
  • Review your financial statements regularly. Check for fraudulent activity, such as purchases or debits you did not make.

On the Phone / Mail / Email

  • Don’t give out personal information unless you’ve initiated contact or are sure you know who you’re dealing with.
  • Be cautious when responding to promotional offers.
  • Identity thieves may create phony promotional offers to get you to give them your personal information.
  • Before you share any information, confirm that you are dealing with a legitimate organization.
  • Check an organization’s website by typing its URL in the address line.
  • Or call customer service using the number listed on your account statement or in the telephone book.
  • Do not trust your caller ID alone!

In Your Wallet or Purse

  • Don’t carry your Social Security Number (SSN) card
  • Leave it in a secure place
  • Give your SSN only when absolutely necessary
  • Ask to use other types of identifiers
  • If your health insurance company uses your SSN as your policy number, ask them to change it
  • Carry only the identification information and credit and debit cards that you’ll actually need when you go out
  • Keep your purse or wallet in a safe place at all times