The Importance of Protecting Your Personal Information

by Miranda Marquit · 1 comment

One of the scariest things that can happen to you, financially, is identity theft. Another scary possibility is becoming the victim of a scam. Both of these issues can become real problems for you if you do not take care to protect your personal information. Your personal information can be used by fraudsters to pose as you, or it can be used as a way to make scammers seem legitimate.

Identity Fraud

One of the fastest growing crimes is identity fraud. Using personal information, fraudsters can pretend to be you, opening accounts in your name, or using your credit card. Personal information certain includes bank account numbers, passwords, your name, address and other information. However, personal information about when you were born, when you graduated from high school, your pet’s name and other information can lead to fraudsters being able to guess your username and passwords at financial institutions, and get access to your accounts.

There is no way to completely prevent identity fraud. You never know when the local DMV database will be hacked, or if your credit card payment will be intercepted in the mail. You need to check your credit report and bank accounts for unusual activity, and remain vigilant so that you can correct problems if they arise.

Be choosy about who you give your information to. When some calls you on the phone, don’t give out account numbers, or other personal financial information. Be aware that jury duty correspondence comes through the mail, as do IRS communications. Phone calls and emails requesting your personal information should be discarded. The FTC has a web site that allows you to report potential scams and instances of ID theft.


Your personal information can also be useful to scammers. Recently, hackers were selling names and addresses (and other information) obtained from the PlayStation Network breach. With this information, it is possible to send you a realistic-looking letter about becoming a mystery shopper, or some other wire transfer scam. If you believe the letter and wire the money, you could find yourself poorer.

Other scams involve information obtained from social media networks. Scammers can find information about friends, and how you know them, and then use that information to contact you and pretend to be that friend, in an emergency situation. You can guard some of your personal information by being careful about privacy settings. Be sure to limit who has the ability to see information about you, and what they can see.

Also, be on the look out for scams. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. And be wary of any correspondence that asks you to wire money. While wiring money can be a good way for you to send money to people you know, never send money as the result of something you receive in the mail or email from someone you don’t know.

Bottom Line

You can’t always protect your information. However, you can do your best to keep information as private as possible. You should also keep tabs on your account and treat random “opportunities” with suspicion. While you won’t be completely protected, you can reduce the chances of a true problem.

Bonus Tip:

Another way to save on your monthly Internet and TV costs is to find a current ATT U-Verse coupon code or at least a promotion to knock down your home service bill.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Thomas Hood January 29, 2014 at 1:17 pm

“There is no way to completely prevent identity fraud.” That says it all and should have been the lead sentence.

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