A major concern to people is protecting their identities.
I’ve come across a couple simple ways to do that and thought I’d pass them along.
- Reveal only what you absolutely have to. Several years ago a financial institution I dealt with gave me an account card. It was basic–just the account number on the business card. It may have had the words “Account Number” on it but I’m not sure of that. The teller explained anyone finding a lost card would have no way of knowing what the account number referred to or where it came from just by looking at the card. It was a simple means of protecting customers’ information. I keep that example in mind when giving out personal information. The less information revealed, the less can be used against you. This is as simple and effective as can be.
- Use retailers’ own numbers on gift cards when making purchases, rather than yours on debit or credit cards. Occasionally I buy online from a couple major retailers. I used to keep a debit card account specifically for such purchases. Sometime ago I started buying gift cards from the one retailer to purchase items online. I plan to do this with the other retailer when I need to. That way the only numbers involved belong to the stores, not me. The card numbers are not traceable to me, particularly if I buy them with cash. My financial situation being what it is, I can’t afford to buy cards in large amounts anyway.
I am aware that following these tips may not always be possible. Many people’s situations are much more complicated than mine, and yes, safeguarding privacy means giving up convenience, and perhaps, not posting as much online as you’d like to. (For example, I’ve limited the amount of information given when someone clicks on my avatar.) For me, these tips give peace of mind.