Whether you are a middle-class school teacher or a millionaire, keeping financial records safe is highly important. Identity theft has become so common nowadays that anyone may fall a victim to this. Better safe than sorry right? Whether your documents are in hardcopies or in softcopies, you must know about a couple of safety measures you can take to keep it all protected:
- First of all, keep all your documents organized rather throwing them everywhere. Not being careful about where you keep them will make it easy for people to go through your documents or stealing them. So keep them in one place, better if away from fire or water.
- Always and ever, shred the documents you no longer need. Whether it is a bank receipt or statement, receipts of any kind, your credit card bill, unused/expired credit cards, any document that has your social security number, ID card copies, bank account number etc. on it; make sure you shred them before putting them away. Remember, desperate people can even go through your trash to access them.
- Label your documents while putting them in one place; it is the best way to keep them secure. Documents like your will, payrolls, tax forms, receipts, government files, statements etc. can be placed under relatable labels. You can do it year wise or by the nature of a document like, government documents, bank files etc. It should help you in emergencies when you simply would not have time to go through all of your documents before you find the needed one. Moreover, it can help you easily notice if a certain file is missing from a label.
- Do not keep your mailbox open for public access. It is dangerous. Lock your mailbox. So if anyone is eager to go through your stuff, they cannot do it without your consent. Carry the outgoing mails yourself to the post office; it prevents even the postal carriers from having access to your confidential files.
- Get a home safe if you keep most important documents at home rather than in a bank. Make sure the home safe is fireproof, if possible waterproof and also has a high-secure locking system. Home locks ensure safety of your records in cases of emergencies and keep unwanted people away from the opportunity to access them. Be sure to check out some home safes reviews before buying.
- Do not give away personal information to anyone. Check the authenticity of a person’s claim about who they are before you do business with them or share your valuable information. As security experts may suggest, try contacting people through land phones rather than using your cellular phone. hackers can easily bug your mobile phone, listen to your conversations, read your texts and mails and get all the information they need. So doubt anyone before you are sure of their reliability.
- Put an extra layer of security on when it comes to digital documents. Remember that if you are not being extra cautious people can easily hack into your system. In case of computer files, limit access to them in privacy option, make your computers password protected and activate mobile phone verification on your email and other social media accounts. This would save you from a lot of hassle.
- While getting rid of old computers or phones, make sure you clear all data you previously saved on them. In case of computers, files can be recovered even after deleting them. So go for wiping the data all together. There are software like Disk Wipe that you can use for this purpose. In case of your mobile phones or tabs, you can format them too for being sure.
- Keep your purse, bags, laptops or anything that contain important documents near you. This is mostly applicable when you are at a public place like restaurants, workplace, public transports etc. It is easy to steal them if you are not paying attention.
- Do not keep important documents like social security card and birth certificate with you. Copy them for random usage and keep the original files locked in a safety box. Original copies of these documents should never be kept in your moneybag or purse as you may lose them anytime or get hijacked.
- Have a safety deposit box in your bank or post office so that you can keep your valuable documents away from any harm done. Opt for automatic deposition for documents like pay check, pension, bonus, social security checks etc. so that no one can steal these from you.
Not exaggerating but your financial records and documents suffice your existence in the society…well pretty much! So be vigilant about these sensitive documents because thieves and ill-willed people can rob you off of your identity through them. Use these tactics to keep them safe; upgrade your security with time. Being careful is key.