Buying a home is the biggest purchase we will ever make and keeping our identity safe while doing so is just as important and buying the house. These days everyone asks for our social security number to verify our identity but we as consumers and home buyers need to make sure that doesn’t fall into the wrong persons hands. Our identity is who we are and we need to remember that and keep it as safe as we possibly can.
I am not saying you can never reveal anything about yourself to anyone but here are a few tips to remember that will help safeguard your identity:
- Never give a person or company your Social Security number unless they have a legitimate reason for knowing it. If a company doesn’t need to check your credit, they most likely don’t need your Social Security number.
- Keep all financial documents in a safe place like a lockbox or safe. If you no longer need statements or documents that contain your personal information be sure to shred them so that your information doesn’t get into the wrong hands.
- When buying a new home and moving use a reputable moving company that comes highly recommended. Never use a mover unless you know who will be handling your personal items.
- Consider placing an alert on your credit report. Fraud alert messages notify creditors to verify a person’s identification before extending credit in that person’s name.
- Be present during your entire move if possible. Movers that see you walking around and checking stuff out will be less likely to try any funny business.
- Transport any sensitive information yourself like wills, bank statements, credit card statements, etc.
- NEVER keep your laptop or desktop computer open and unattended during your move. Keep them password protected and close by so that your information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
So like I have said in the past none of the above tips are 100% fool proof but you can greatly reduce your risk of identity theft if you are extra cautious and take the extra steps necessary to keep your information and identity safe.
Also, don’t forget to play the LifeLock for Life Sweepstakes on Facebook where all you need to do is “LIKE” LifeLock on Facebook then visit the LifeLock for Life tab and begin playing by answering different questions for great prizes. For the month of February the questions will be focusing on buying a new home so make sure you play every week for a chance to win some really cool prizes.
I have received compensation for my participation as a LifeLock Ambassador but ALL opinions are my own.