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Helpful hints to protect your ID

Brooke MorrisWednesday, October 07, 2015

Australia and New Zealand’s Identity Support Service (idcare.org) have experienced over 6,500 calls in its first 6 months of operation as of May 2015.

There is no need to be terrified but care should be taken to protect items that, if they fall in the wrong hands, could create issues for you in protecting who you are.   Listed below are some things that you should consider in protecting yourself.

  • Have secure home Wi-Fi networks
  • Secure your personal documents at home, work and when travelling
  • Invest in a shredder – all expired or information that should not be disposed of in the garbage or recycling should be shredded.   This can included paperwork in which you have recorded tax information, Pins or Passwords.
  • Change Pins and passwords regularly, at least every 6 to 12 months or immediately if anything is hacked or compromised.
  • Place a lock on your mailbox – This is your real mailbox not virtual.  You would be surprised at those who will go through your mail if they get a chance.
  • Never reveal personal details on social media sites.
  • Beware strange emails and documents sent to you.   Unless you know who they are from, do not open them.
  • Remember that banks and other legitimate organisations do not call or email for personal details.  If anyone does call, ask them for a number that you can call them on, to verify who they are.    These can be confirmed on websites or telephone books.  But still then do not hand over any bank details or tax file numbers etc.
  • Check all credit card and bank statements carefully.  If any issues arise go to your bank immediately or call them on their emergency numbers to report the issue.
  • Run Virus protection software on all devices connected to the internet, (Mobile, tablets, laptop and computers).
  • Do not use simple passwords e:g abcd1234
  • Notify your bank when you will be overseas.   Banks will often pick up strange overseas transactions, if they know your away they will not be concerned.
  • When using your credit card always keep it in sight and do not allow anyone to take it from the room.
  • If asked for personal information, ask them why they need it, how it will be stored, when it will be destroyed and how.
  • We as lawyers have to take special care that you are who you say you are.   A current driver’s licence is often asked for, or other forms of photographic proof.   This is to protect you.   If we know you, and have known you for some time, this information will still be asked for.    Do not take offence.   It is there to protect you.   Recently a person tried to remove a CT from our office.   We asked for written confirmation and a proof from the spouse whose name was also on the CT.   They were not forthcoming.  Later we found out they were trying to sell the property without the permission of the spouse.
  • As a certified ISO9000 firm we have triggers and checklists in place to protect you.   Should you have such documents at home secure them or make use of our safe custody facilities.

Joanne Boog

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