As consumers spend time online protecting their identity, now is a good time to look at how you store personal information in and around your home. Local bankers urge you to protect your physical wallet with these tips:
1. Safeguard your identity in physical locations. Secure your valuables – electronic devices, purses, wallets, etc. Do not leave your wallet or purse in plain-sight or in an unsecured location, including unlocked vehicles and your home.
2. Password protect your mobile device and lock it when you’re not using it. Your mobile device may have personal information on it. Protect it with a password. Know how to contact your mobile service provider in case of a lost or stolen device.
3. Clear the clutter. Do not carry excess cash, gift cards, or unnecessary credit cards. Do not carry your social security card, or other cards that have information that someone could use to create your identity. Store unnecessary items in a secure location. Keep passwords in a secure location; not written on the back of your card.
4. Keep good records. If you’re not sure how to contact your credit card company or bank in the event of a lost or stolen card, consider taking a copy of the front and the back side of any cards that you carry and keeping the copy in a secure place.
If you are faced with a lost or stolen wallet or purse, take these steps to protect yourself and your identity:
1. Cancel all credit & debit cards immediately.
2. File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where it was stolen.
3. Call the three national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security Number (SSN).
Your local bank reminds you to make these calls right away – criminals are fast. You need to be faster. These tips are provided as a courtesy by Iowa State Bank.