Spring is here. We’ve changed our clocks to Daylight Savings Time. Taxes are almost filed. Time for spring cleaning. However, don’t just clean your house. Make sure you use this time to go through your files and papers and do an Identity theft spring cleaning of all of those that have sensitive personal identity information on them. (Below is some great advice I received from Identity Guard, but written by me. I have received compensation to write a series of posts on Identity theft).
There are most likely many documents or pieces of paper in your files or around your house with personal information that could be used for personal identity theft. What you need to do is gather all of these papers up and sort them into two piles, those that need to be saved and those that don’t. With so many digital files, you can probably dispose of old credit card bills and bank statements.
How should you dispose of the papers you no longer need to save. If you don’t already have one, you should purchase a personal shredder for your home. They are inexpensive and can save you from having your identity stolen out of your garbage. The files that you need to keep should be locked up in a safe place.
Don’t stop there. While you are spring cleaning you should also check the safety of your computer. Do you have virus protection? Do you update it each year? What about your privacy settings on Facebook? With Facebook changing their rules all the time, you have to make sure you keep your settings up-to-date.
And, as much of a hassle as this is, you should change your passwords every now and then. You should also have a different password for every site. Obviously, if you do both of these, you will not be able to memorize them and will need to keep a list. Do not keep the list on your computer. Make your password list old school. Get a little notebook and keep all your passwords there. Do it in pencil and when you change your passwords, you can easily make the change in your notebook.
What is Identity Theft? Identity theft occurs when somebody gains access to some of your personal information and uses it to pretend to be you. The thief can gain access to your finances and more and ruin your reputation and sometimes destroy your life.
Even children can have their identities stolen, and the worst part is, it usually isn’t noticed for many years until they apply for a job or college. Identity Guard’s Kid Sure program helps you protect your kids from Identity Theft. Check it out.
Full Disclosure: I was paid to write a series of posts about Identity Guard and their Kid Sure program. However all opinions are my own.
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