Protect Your Identity – Limit Your Risk From Identity Theft

Every Military Family will over the years acquire mounds upon mounds of paperwork, from bank statements, credit card statements, wills, POA’s, loan documents, housing paperwork, to everything in between. One thing we learn quickly as a Military Family is it is important to keep documents organized or what our idea of organized is. Let’s face it; most of us are not as document organized as we would like to be, nor do we really need this huge mound of paperwork. But what should we keep and for how long? What is ok to toss? What papers should be kept in a safe or a safe deposit box? Which ones are ok to keep in a filing cabinet? And when on earth can we get rid of some of this crap?

Keep your social security number safe. Don’t carry your social security card replacement around with you or any other card that has your number on it. Don’t use your number on checks or bills that can be stolen.

The following are the necessary steps you need to take to ensure that your new name is official. You will also be needing the following; note cards, thank you greeting cards, telephones, and copies of your marriage license.

Consider an insurance policy. No there is no insurance available that will replace your entire wallet social security card replacement for you but many identity theft insurance plans come pretty close. For example LifeLock’s WalletLock service will work to get all of your wallet’s contents replaced, excluding the cash and family photos of course, with little effort required on your end.

You might think about using just part of your savings to pay off some of your debt. If you’re getting paid 2 or 3 % interest on your savings account, while you’re paying – let’s say – even a low annual rate of 12% on a credit card debt, think about how much money you could save if you paid that charge debt off now! Just be careful to leave enough savings in your account in case you need that money for an emergency.

If you can take a cash advance at a lower interest than some or all of your higher interest credit cards, then you can pay off those balances and save yourself tons of interest debt! Be cautious, though. Some credit cards charge a high fee for transferred balances, so be sure the transaction would be a good deal for you. Make sure you can pay off the balance before a higher rate takes effect too!

Tip: talk to your children early about the importance of keeping their identities private. Start when they start using the internet or around 13 at the latest. Use parent controls on your kid’s computer, and make these controls as tight as you want. You won’t be popular with your children, but they will thank you later when they hear about their friends who have had their identities stolen!

A survival bag is a necessity to keep you and your family safe during an extended power outage or natural disaster. This bag can be a link to your safety and survival in a hard situation. Be sure to keep it where you can get to it fast and take it with you if needed.

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