Mail bills to be paid at the Post Office, not in your mailbox or in street corner postal boxes. Consider using automated payment plans.
Have paychecks, benefits, and pension checks direct deposited to your account. Ask the IRS, insurance companies, and others to send refund checks electronically.
Ask your bank or credit union to receive your box of new checks rather than have them mailed to your home.
Call your bank and credit card customer service and ask to "opt out" of all marketing programs, including convenience checks mailings.
Carry sensitive information in a close fitting pouch or in your front pocket, not in your purse or wallet, including driver's license, credit and debit cards, checks, car registration, and anything with your Social Security number.
Don't carry your checkbook in public. Carry only the checks you need.
Copy the contents (front and back) of your wallet.
If possible remove anything from your wallet containing your Social Security Number, including your Social Security card, Medicare card, and military ID. If your Social Security Number is on your driver's license, get a new one!
Check your earnings record at least annually and more often if you suspect your Social Security Number has been compromised. Contact the Social Security Administration and ask for Form SSA-7004, Request for Earning and Benefit Estimate Statement. This is a free service.
Do not keep your purse, briefcase, checkbook, registration, insurance card, or other identifying information in your car. Carry them in a secure manner on your person. Do not leave your car unlocked or unattended.
Keep your financial and tax records in locked files in your home or office.
Don't give any part of your Social Security, credit or bank account numbers over the phone unless you have initiated contact to a verifiable company or financial institution.
Request a free copy of your credit report once a year.
Notify the credit reporting agencies of the death of a relative or friend to block the misuse of the deceased person's credit.
Call the Credit Card Offer Opt Out Line to reduce the number of credit card solicitations you receive. Call 1-888-567-8688 or go to www.optoutprescreen.com.
Shred pre-approved credit card offers, convenience checks, and any document containing sensitive information with a crosscut shredder.
Don't respond to e-mails asking you to submit personal data. The message may include fancy graphics, trademark symbols, and an authentic-looking email address, but that can be faked.
If you have a high-speed connection like cable, DSL, or T-1, use a firewall program.
Use a secure browser to guard the security of online transactions. Be sure your browser has up-to-date encryption capabilities by using the latest version from the manufacturer.
*This information provided courtesy of the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office.