Protecting Your Identity
Protecting Your Identity

In light of all of these potential dangers, what precautions can you take to safeguard your personal information?

Protecting Yourself at Home
Protecting Yourself Away from Home
Protecting Yourself Online

Protecting Yourself at Home...  
  • Do not let mail sit in your mailbox for any length of time - remove it promptly.

  • Do not mail bills from your mailbox; criminals may steal your mail and change the address on your credit card and other accounts.

  • Use common sense and put only the minimal amount of information required on the outside of envelopes and packages, or on postcards.

  • Review credit card and bank statements as soon as you receive them to determine whether there are any unauthorized charges, and promptly report any discrepancies to your financial institution. If your statement is late, call your credit card company or bank to confirm that it has been mailed.

  • Shred or tear up documents you don't need before putting them out in the trash.

  • Order copies of your credit report once a year and then review them to ensure accuracy. The three major credit reporting agencies are:
    Equifax www.equifax.com 1-800-525-6285
    Experian www.experian.com 1-888-397-3742
    Transunion www.transunion.com 1-800-680-7289

    Free copies of your credit report are available annually at www.annualcreditreport.com.
Protecting Yourself Away from Home...
  • Contact your local post office to stop delivery of mail until your return.

  • Never leave your purse or wallet unattended - even for a minute.

  • Protect your PINs (personal identification numbers) and passwords. Don’t carry them in your wallet!

  • Carry only personal identification and credit cards you actually need in your purse or wallet. (For example, don’t carry your Social Security Card unless necessary.) If your ID or credit cards are lost or stolen, notify the creditors immediately.

  • Shield the keypad when using ATMs or when placing calling card calls.

  • When possible, watch your credit card as the merchant completes the transaction. The merchant should keep the card in your sight and only swipe it once.

Protecting Yourself Online...
  • If you receive an email that warns you that an account of yours will be shut down unless you reconfirm your information, do not reply using the link in the email. Instead, contact the company by using a phone number that you know to be genuine.

  • Before submitting information via a website, look for the locked padlock icon on the browser's status bar. This generally means that the site uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) 128-bit encryption technology, which protects information as it crosses the Internet by encrypting - or scrambling - your information so that it is virtually impossible for anyone other than the intended recipient. Unfortunately, some fraudsters have forged security icons, so make sure that you are on the company’s actual site before relying on the padlock icon.

  • Do not send your account information, password or other personal information over any unsolicited, public, or general email system.

  • Report any suspicious emails requesting personal or financial information to the Federal Trade Commission. Send the actual email to spam@uce.gov.

  • Do not leave your computer unattended while you are logged on to a website that has personal information about you.

  • Remember to sign off of the website completely when you have finished viewing your personal information online.

  • Regularly update the virus protection software on your computer.

If you suspect that you are a victim of identity theft as a result of any of
these types of actions, please contact Wilmington Trust immediately
at 1-800-724-2440.


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