How many of you keep your social security card in your wallets?
How many keep your passport or birth certificate lying around the house?
If you do, you run the risk of having more than a few items stolen or a few fraudulent charges on a credit/debit card if you lose your wallet or are the victim of a burglary. You are protected in case your cards fall into the wrong hands, and your insurance will help replace items taken from your home. What you are not covered for, however, is what happens after someone gets their hands on your passport, social security card or any other document that can be used to steal your identity.
And know this: identity theft isn’t only about accessing your financial information either–anything from signing up for a membership or cell phone to actually taking over you identity can occur so it’s not always an easy event to recover from, or even detect.
The best way to protect yourself is to be diligent about how you handle your identifying information. Limiting the documents that are available to be lost or stolen, and not allowing them to fall into the wrong hands is the best way to protect yourself against identity thieves. But, it’s not just about hiding the major things. There are many ways in which prospective identity thieves can get a hold of the things they would to make your life a living hell.
These tips and ideas will go a long way in helping you to keep your identity (and money) your own: