Discover How Safe You Really Are

January 14, 2015

Most Americans would consider themselves to be relatively safe. In our day to day lives there are just a few risks we face – or are there? Despite feeling safe and comfortable, many people are exposing themselves to a range of risks each and every day. Recognizing and correcting these risky behaviors lets you increase your personal safety, the safety of your home, and the safety of your family. These valuable tips can help protect you against theft of identifying information, financial information, and many other important personal details.

How Your Data Can Hurt You

Thieves and scammers use the sensitive, personal information they collect to falsify credit applications, bank transactions, and other financial operations. They can place orders online, pretend to pay for items over the phone, and even make purchases in stores using your personal information. Even though a number of safeguards are put in place to help deter this kind of activity, if a thief has enough information and a little bit of luck, they can get away with all kinds of crime. The helpless victim is then left to repair the damage done to their credit rating, bank accounts, and home life. Fixing the problems caused by identity and financial information theft can take several years to complete. It is better to take steps now to protect your safety than to attempt to address the crime after it has taken place.

Making Safety a Daily Habit

There are simple and direct ways of increasing personal safety. You can talk with your family members about implementing these strategies together.

  • Create a family safety code word. This word will be used to verify that messages are authentic and that the person delivering that message can be trusted. A relative or close friend who picks up your child from school should know this code word but a stranger will not. A grandparent who receives an email asking for money should look for this special word or phrase; if the word is not present, they can feel confident that the email came from a scammer.

  • Remove all sensitive information from purses, backpacks, totes, and other bags. These carry-alls tend to get filled with all kinds of items, including pay stubs, bank statements, and other paperwork with personal financial information. Never carry these around with you if you can avoid it; they should be stored safely at home in a filing cabinet or other organizer. If a purse or backpack containing these papers were stolen the thief would have access to a lot more than just your wallet.

  • Protect your payment cards, identity cards, and passports. Many of these items are now equipped with RFID chips, which contain personal identifying information, including financial data. Thieves can use sensitive scanners to activate these chips and download information from them. The best way to protect these cards is to use a Stealth Card, a slim card-shaped item that effectively blocks the incoming signals from the scanners used by thieves. The Stealth Card leaves your cards unaffected, thereby allowing you to use them safely whenever you wish.

These are just a few of the practical tips that can be put into practice right away. Never put off the opportunity to increase your personal safety.