The Ways to Hide Your Personal Finance Information from the Identity Thieves

By Charles Hopkins Published 09/19/2006 | Finance

In a world, dominated by plastic money and e-commerce, the names as our identification factor have become grossly irrelevant. Your identity in this technology dominated world has become encrypted in a series of numbers. Starting from social security number to personal identity number (PIN), 401K number to bank account number; you are no longer identified by your name, but by a combination of numerical digits.

These are the numbers that help you prove the person you are in every financial sector, in internet banking, in telebanking, in the written applications and anywhere else! This digital way of identification makes the financial functioning easier and faster no doubt. But this world ruled by the numbers has become the breeding ground for a new creed of criminals, the identity thieves.

Numerous methods are employed by this new generation of technology savvy thieves to pirate the identifiable information to rob you of your hard earned money. In the face of growing numbers in identity theft related scams, you must learn the necessary tricks to keep your financial information hidden from this extremely intelligent breed of the criminals. Here are few basic tips.

Make a habit of going through your credit card statements in details, so that you can inform the company immediately after coming across anything unusual or an incorrect transaction.

It is not prudent to move here and there with important documents as your social security card. In case you lose it or it gets stolen, the rest is easier for the identity thieves.

Can you memorize your credit card number? If not then how can you convince the company to take actions at the earliest in case you might lose it? So preserve the credit card number in a place that is accessible for nobody else but you.

Never make the mistake of throwing away the papers with identifiable numbers written on them in the bins in the public places. Carry them back within your wallet, tear them and then throw in the waste paper basket at your home.

Sometimes you are asked for social security numbers as an identity proof by a number of organizations like educational institutions. Always try to get them substituted by other identity proofs other than this one. The identity thieves are smart enough to copy the information from records kept in the offices of these organizations. Remember the social security number is the information that may open up the whole lot of your information before a seasoned identity thief.

Be careful about saving your passwords on the hard disk in your computer at home or at office. It is generally advisable that keeping the passwords in your brain rather than writing them down anywhere in pen and paper or soft files is a far smarter solution.

If you are going out-of-town for a long while, take the time to inform the post office to hold your mail for the time being, instead of pilling up your mailbox with mail, some of which, may carry necessary identifiable information.

Also be careful not to mention any identifiable numbers over the telephone.

It is also important to keep the personal information away from your children as far as possible. Because you never know what information they may be squeezed out of or passed on to a person with foul intentions.