What happens when someone gets hold of your information? They can use your personal information to steal your identity and illegally obtain jobs, credit accounts, mortgages and loans — not to mention withdraw money from your bank accounts. Luckily, most banks protect your account from those kinds of crimes, but it’s essential to keep your other information safe from the start. Personal information of any kind is important to keep secure, even informationabout your schooling or family.
It’s important to put a plan into place when handling your information, including your bank statements and passwords for important online accounts.
You should always use strong passwords, which contain uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols — not recognizable spelled-out words. You should know how to access all your online information and paper documents if you need them. Your passwords and documents should be kept in a safe place where they can’t get into the wrong hands.
Trouble remembering your password? There are many secure and encrypted password faults that store and manage your logins for multiple applications securely. You can then use a single "master" password to access any app you need.
Everyone receives unwanted emails or “spam” from unknown sources, which solicit people by sending emails to a large number of email accounts. Delete spam emails, especially those that ask for personal information, and keep your anti-virus and anti-spyware software up-to-date. Shop online only on secure web pages (check the address bar for “https” next to an image of a lock). Never email or share images of your identification, bank cards or other personal information on social media.
Did your parents help you set up a savings account at a bank? Your bank will send you monthly statements telling you how much money is in the account, as well as the number and amounts of withdrawals and deposits. Shred unneeded bank documents and other files that contain your personal financial information so that they can’t get into the wrong hands.
Your parents may have told you about being aware of scammers. These are people who contact you via phone or email claiming to represent a bank, a credit card company, a government agency, a charity or any other organization. Never give out information about yourself, your family, your bank account or passport. If you think the request is legitimate, have your parents contact the company to directly confirm its request.