How to Protect Your Personal and Financial Information
As our purchasing and transactions increasingly take place online, it’s more important now than ever to make sure your personal and financial information stays safe online. Below are nine tips for staying safe while using the internet:
- Don’t give out your personal or sensitive information to an untrusted source. Don’t give your account number, VISA card number, any ID, PIN, password or other piece of sensitive information unless the source is absolutely reliable. Know that Signet will never make any unsolicited telephone calls or emails requesting your personal information.
- Shred all financial documents and paperwork containing personal information before you discard them.
- Protect your Social Security Number. Don’t carry the card in your wallet or write your social security number on a check. Give it out only if absolutely necessary or ask to use another identifier.
- Don’t give out your personal information on the phone, through the mail, or over the Internet unless you know who you are dealing with.
- Never click on links sent in unsolicited emails; instead, type in a web address you know. Use firewalls, anti-spyware, and antivirus software to protect your home computer; keep them up-to-date. Visit OnGuardOnline.gov for more information.
- Don’t use an obvious password like your birth date, your mother’s maiden name, or the last four digits of your Social Security number.
- Keep your personal information in a secure place at home, especially if you have roommates, employ outside help, or are having work done in your house.
- Be alert to signs that require immediate attention:
- Bills that do not arrive as expected
- Unexpected credit cards or account statements
- Denials of credit for no apparent reason
- Calls or letters about purchases you did not make
- Always thoroughly inspect:
- Your credit report. Credit reports contain information about you, including what accounts you have and your bill paying history. The law requires the major nationwide consumer reporting companies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – to give you a free copy of your credit report each year if you ask for it.
- Your financial statements. Review financial account and billing statements regularly, looking for charges you did not make.