In a digital world where it seems that the crooks are always one step ahead of you to capture and steal your personal and financial information, how do you stay safe? What steps can you take to keep what is yours, YOURS? It’s not just the digital world, but also the “real” world in which you should take extra measures to keep your information unavailable and private. Here are a few tips:
- Don’t carry around unnecessary documentation. Leave items like your social security card, your passport, extra credit cards or unneeded insurance documents at home.
- In your home, lock important documents in a file cabinet or even store them off-site like in one of our safe deposit boxes.
- Shred any items that contain your personal information, like receipts, insurance forms, check carbons, statements, and expired credit cards.
- Choose direct deposit for your payroll, social security checks or pension.
- Before disposing of or donating computers, erase, or even remove, the hard drive.
- Password protect all phones, tablets and computers.
- Keep a close eye on your credit report and accounts. Some thieves will open cards in your name and only take a little at a time in order to fly under the radar and not be noticed.
- Never respond to an email or phone call soliciting account information or asking for your social security number.
- Don’t click on unexpected pop up ads in your internet browser.
- Be very careful of the information you send over email or text. If you can share the information via phone or in person, that’s a better option.
- Password-protect your home wireless network.
- If you’re utilizing a free public wi-fi network, the information you send over that network might be at risk. Check to be sure your information will be secure.
- Use anti-virus software on your computers that will update protections regularly.
- Shop on trusted sites.
Being safe and smart about your financial and personal information is key. As a rule of thumb, if it seems fishy, it’s probably fishy. Never hesitate to question someone about why they need personal information. The bad guys will always find a way to get what they want, but who says we have to make it easy? Houston Highway is here to help you in any way we can to help you secure your financial information!