08 February 2009

Tip of the Day February 8, 2009

Protect Your Identity

Identity theft is just as real as a thief in the night. It is a growing concern now that credit is more difficult to obtain. The tight credit market increases the motive for people who stoop to the level of stealing your identity to gain access to credit. Every day someone will contact me to tell me they don't like to use their credit card online as it isn't safe, they would much rather phone me and give me their credit card number, the expiry date, the name on the card and the security code over the phone or fill out an application form and post it to me. I'm not sure which is worse. Neither of these methods of payment is secure or safe.

Protect your personal financial information by shredding financial documents (in fact any document with your full name and address on it, even envelopes) and paying your bills electronically. Using a secure online payment systems is far safer than putting your credit card details on paper for all the world to see or reading them out over the phone to a complete stranger. If you don't have a shredder then you can tear the documents into small pieces and either add them to your compost bin or worm farm or spread them onto a sheet of newspaper and then wrap the veggie peelings in it before dropping it into your garbage bin.

Remember, most identity theft is done by someone you know.

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