While much has been written on the subject of identity theft, it never hurts to review a few of the basics and add a few new tools to your security repertoire. Our suggestions:
1. Check your credit report at least annually at www.annualcreditreport.com. Better yet, order a free credit report from one of the three credit reporting bureaus every four months.
2. Shred everything and consider using a ‘Security Micro Cut Shredder.’
3. Use your credit card and not your debit card whenever you can. By federal statute, you have no liability if someone makes fraudulent charges on your credit card.
4. Check your bank and credit card statements each month for any illegitimate charges.
5. Consider signing up for a credit monitoring service. The service should monitor all three credit bureaus, should notify you immediately of anything suspicious and cost less than $10 per month.
6. Be careful who you do business with online and have two passwords – one for shopping and one for banking – and change both passwords annually.
A little investment of time and vigilance over your financial affairs can reap great returns by saving you money and significant headaches.