Many people are unaware of how much of their personal and financial information is floating around on various consumer lists, which may leave them vulnerable to fraud and identity theft. So, what can you do to help protect yourself?
- Don't give out personal or financial information—including your date of birth, Social Security number, employment information, and your maiden name or your mother's maiden name—to telemarketers or solicitors.
- Avoid listing income and work-related information on product registration and warranty cards.
- Be secretive about passwords or personal identification numbers (PINs) on bank cards, telephone cards, and cell phones.
- Don't use your Social Security number as your driver's license number. You may be able to request a different number if this is a common practice in your state.
- Only use web sites that offer secure connections when making online purchases.
Following these common-sense steps may help you protect your personal information from falling into the wrong hands. Remember, your personal information is just that—personal—and it's worth protecting.