There are many ways that thieves try to steal your information. In many cases, people hand over sensitive information directly to data thieves without even knowing it. Thankfully, we can recognize warning signs and help you create good habits in safeguarding your information.
It is a good habit to keep a tight grip on your Social Security number. There are many forms we encounter in our everyday lives that ask for your Social Security number, such as rental applications and job applications. However, you should avoid supplying your SS number until it is absolutely necessary; otherwise, it may be sitting in an unprotected environment for a very long time.
Leave Your Social Security Card at Home
You should avoid carrying your Social Security card with you unless it being used for something specific that day; such as renewing a driver’s license. If your wallet or purse is lost with your SS card and your driver’s license both inside, thieves have a golden opportunity to steal your identity with ease.
Just like accounting offices, banks have certain procedures for safeguarding your information. Sensitive information such as Social Security numbers, routing numbers, and passwords are typically not discussed over the phone and are rarely discussed through mail. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from your bank and are asked to give or update any information, you should decline. Following a suspicious call, you should visit your bank in person, or call them directly to inquire about any necessary information updates.
Disposing of Documents
If you are disposing of forms and documents containing sensitive information, do not simply throw them in the trash. We all work hard to safeguard our information, so you shouldn’t leave it sitting on the sidewalk. For disposing these kinds of documents, it is a good habit to take them to your accountant to be shredded.