Tips for Protecting Your Identity:

  1. Don't give out your SSN unnecessarily (only for tax reasons, credit or verified employment.) Before providing personal identifiers, know how it will be used and if it will be shared.

  2. Use a cross-cut shredder to dispose of documents with personal information.

  3. Know your billing cycles and contact creditors when bills fail to show up. Review bank and credit card statements carefully.

  4. Password protect your financial accounts. A strong password should be more than eight characters in length, and contain both capital letters and at least one numeric or other non-alphabetical character. Use of non-dictionary words is also recommended.

  5. Don't give out personal information on the phone, through the mail or over the Internet unless you initiated the contact.

  6. Use firewall software to protect computer information. Keep virus and spyware software programs updated.

  7. Reduce the number of preapproved credit card offers you receive: 888-5OPT-OUT

  8. Order your free annual credit reports on-line at: or by calling (877) 322-8228

  9. Between the increasing numbers of social networks, from Facebook to Twitter, and LinkedIn to Google+, a significant amount of personal information is being shared online that can be used to authenticate a person's identity. Don't share or post personal information online, such as your address, phone numbers, SSN, birth date, or birth place.

  10. There are great apps available to help you bank and even do your taxes on your mobile phone. Make sure the apps that you download are from a reputable company and check the ratings and comments to be aware of what the app does and what information it may access on your mobile device. You should also secure your device with a strong password and use your phone's auto-lock feature to protect personal information.

We certainly hope that these tips will help you to preserve the confidentiality of your personal information.