I received an ING Direct Identity Theft tip in my email today, thought I’d share it:
With ID Theft on the rise, it is more important now than ever to make sure you are taking the necessary steps to protect your personal information. Just last month, ING DIRECT hosted a series of seminars in our CafÃÂ©s to educate consumers about this very important topic. Here are some tips from our Website and from our guest speaker, Evan Hendricks, author of Credit Scores & Credit Reports, to help you start the New Year right – by making smart choices about identity protection.
You need to check more than just your credit report – You should also check your Social Security Earnings and Benefit statement once a year to make sure that no one else is using your Social Security number for employment. Obtain a copy of your social security statement here.
Do not leave your mail at the mercy of ID thieves – Stop thieves from obtaining personal information from your bank statements, physician statements, credit offers and other sensitive documents you receive in the mail by securing your mailbox. Websites such as www.secure-mailboxes.com offer mailboxes with locks, keypads and letter slots. Opting to receive your statements electronically is another good alternative.
Protect your personal information online –
Use anti-virus software and firewall programs to stop hackers from accessing personal information stored on to your computer. For more information about securing your computer, please visit our site.
Use a secure browser when making online transactions. Look for the “lock” icon on the browser’s status bar to be sure your information is secure during transmission. Or the letter “S” for secure in the website address – example https://
Choose strong passwords with a combination of letters (upper and lower case), numbers and symbols and don’t use an automatic log-in feature that saves your user name and password.
Don’t Get Hooked on a “Phishing Scam” – Never give out personal financial information online or over the phone unless you have initiated the contact. Legitimate companies will never request that you submit confidential customer information over non-secure channels such as e-mail or phone calls initiated by them. If you have questions or concerns about your account, call the telephone number you have on file, or open a new Internet browser session and type in the company’s Web address. Be sure not to “cut and paste” the link from the email into your Internet browser – phishers can create links that take you to phony sites.