Stolen personal information can result in an identity thief compromising that information for financial gain. When you don’t protect your personal information, it can be stolen from you anywhere at any time when you least expect it. Sensitive information is not limited to just your Social Security number or credit card numbers. It can also include your student records, human resource information, private research data, or medical records.
Accidental exposure of sensitive information can become public with a click of the mouse or through minor human errors. It’s always good practice to monitor the way you store and share information. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Too much information: Never supply more information than is necessary. For example, when you fill out a job application there is no need to provide a Social Security number.
2. Improper handling: Be aware of how your personal information is being handled at all times. For instance, when you fill out something that requires you to provide sensitive information ask how long the information will be filed for or will it be shredded once it’s no longer in use.
3. Forgetfulness: Being absent minded of the location of your sensitive information can lead to identity theft. For example, when you leave sensitive information lying around your desk like a checkbook, you run the risk of somebody with bad intentions stealing your information to be later used for fraudulent activities.
Keep these simple tips in mind so your personal information does not get accidently exposed by a fraudster.