How to Protect What’s Yours

Protecting your assets and family is one of the most important things you can do. That starts with knowing identity theft can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. While you can’t always prevent it from affecting you, there are some basic things you can do to minimize the chances of losing a lifetime‚Äôs worth of treasures and savings.

Your Risk of Falling Victim to Identity Theft

The odds of winning any lottery are about 1 in 100 million. Unfortunately, those aren’t your odds when it comes to identity theft. You can do everything right and still become a victim through no fault of your own. In recent years, millions of veterans’ personal details were stolen via a hack from the Veterans Administration. Companies get breached and credit card information is stolen all the time.

In total, statistics show us that 33% of American adults have fallen victim to this faceless crime at some point in their lives. Worse still, 1 in 5 victims experienced it more than once.

Here’s the good news. There are simple things you can do to protect what’s yours.

What Can You Do to Protect Yourself and Your Family?

Many things are within your control when it comes to protecting your assets. Let’s look at a few of the most common:

  • Don’t carry your social security card with you. If you lose your wallet or leave it somewhere, it can fall into the wrong hands. Instead, leave it in a safe place at home.
  • Don’t share your personal information such as your birthday, bank account, or social security number just because someone asks for it. Only give this information when necessary.
  • Never allow your mail to sit in the mailbox. If you aren’t home to get your mail for several days, put a temporary stop on delivery with the Postal Service.
  • Review your credit card statements monthly and always check your yearly credit report. You want to watch for unauthorized financial transactions.
  • Shred any and all receipts, credit card offers, and account statements. There are people who rummage through trash to get personal information they can use to conduct scams.

There you have it. If you didn’t notice, it’s not hard for someone to steal your identity and cause havoc in your life. While nothing is foolproof, these are a few things that can make it a little harder for someone to access your information.