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Identity Theft On The Rise - Protect Yourself

by Samia S. Morgan

In a day and age when technology seems to rule a big part of our lives, it is important to make sure that our “identity” is protected. As we have all read the horror stories of the victims of identity theft, there are steps we can take to protect ourselves and our personal information.

 

For starters we should be clear about what identify is and how we are identified as individuals in this high tech world we live in. Identity theft occurs when our personal information is collected without our permission and utilized, most of the time, for criminal activity. What personal information do these people target?

 

1.      Your Name

2.      Address

3.      Birth Date

4.      Social Security Number (SSN)

5.      Credit Card Numbers

6.      and Other Personal Identification Numbers

 

This is the type of information someone would need to open credit card or bank accounts, apply for cellular phone service, purchase vacations packages, forward your mail, etc. So how can you protect yourself from this information getting into the wrong hands?

 

  1. If asked to provide personal information, ask why is it needed, how will it used, if it will be shared and with whom.
  2. Carry the least amount of personal information with you as possible.
  3. When asked for your credit number over the phone or internet, make sure that you know who you are dealing with and the communication line is secure.
  4. It’s always a good idea to take extra security measures when dealing over the internet (i.e. digital signatures and data encryption).
  5. Knowing your billing cycles can prove to be very useful should you not receive your bills in the mail. This could help in determining if you mail has been illicitly redirected.
  6. Order your credit report at least once a year and review for any inaccuracies or any unusual activity.
  7. Report lost or stolen credit cards immediately.
  8. You can also request that your accounts require passwords before any inquiries or changes can be made
  9. Choosing the right password is extremely important. You don’t want anything obvious and you DON’T want to write them down.
  10. Always protect your pin number when using debit machines, bank machines or telephones.
  11. Review your credit card cardholder agreement. A number of companies offer protection from credit card fraud.
  12. Lastly, be aware of your garbage. Anything with the above mentioned personal information on it should not just be thrown out. Shredding this type of documentation (especially financial statements, receipts, etc.) is an effective step in preventing identity theft.

Taking the necessary steps above to protect your identity is not difficult. It’s as simple as being aware of what these identity thieves are looking for and arming yourself with the knowledge on how to properly protect your personal information.

 

 

 

Gas Prices on the Rise Again!

by Samia S. Morgan

Gas prices are no where near the prices a year ago, but they are on the rise again.  Stay informed and find the best gas prices in the area by visiting the link below.

San Mateo, California Gas Prices

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Photo of Samia S. Morgan, Inc. Real Estate
Samia S. Morgan, Inc.
dba Samia Realty Group
BRE# 00967165
San Mateo CA 94403
650-678-3633