Credit Unions: When Your Bank Isn’t Cutting It Anymore

August 7, 2008 · Posted in Credit 

Most people think about the same thing in regards to identity theft. Identity theft is so sad, but it probably won’t happen to me. And for the most part, that is true. It probably won’t. Unfortunately the word probably doesn’t rule out the possibility that it will. Most identity theft victims also made the same claim at one time or another. Just taking some basic precautions in regards to identity theft can go a long way in favor of your protection.

A quick easy protective measure is to consider using a post office box. If you are within driving distance of a post office box, it ensures that your mail won’t be accessible to identity thieves, whereas a mailbox can be easily driven up to and accessed by any one. Also pay closer attention to the mail. Most of us know when our bills arrive. If you notice that a bill isn’t here when it usually is, inquire with that company. The bill may have been sent out and picked up by someone else. Sometimes mail can be accidentally delivered to the wrong mailbox, another reason to pay close attention. If you open your bill at the desk, or by the dining room table, keep a shredder close by. They are inexpensive and don’t take up much room. Identity thieves often search through the garbage to find credit card or social security numbers. Other documents that you might not realize you are leaving available of could be offer letters, old driver’s licenses, and even personal letters that may contain personal information.

With the boom of the internet, identity theft has grown at an alarming rate. It makes stealing your identity easier and faster for criminals. The first step in creating a secure online presence is to create solid passwords. This means no pet names, children’s names, birthdates, or favorite cars that may be common knowledge about you. Experts suggest a password that is at least 8 characters in length and consists of a combination of bother letter and numbers. Another common mistake when creating online passwords is creating the same password for all your accounts. Some people feel that they need to do this because they can’t remember multiple passwords. If this is the case, then change your password on a regular basis.

Keep an eye on your credit report. There are many online credit report companies that allow you access to your credit report. In addition, all three credit bureaus will provide you a copy of your credit report free of charge once a year. Also, if you have recently been denied credit based on information in your credit report you may receive a copy.


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