Steps you can take to help protect your information, identity

Protect your mail. Know when your mail gets delivered and pick it up as soon as possible after delivery. If bills are late, contact your creditors.

Keep papers containing your personal information in a safe place, and shred them when they are no longer needed. This includes account statements, receipts, tax forms, and anything else containing your account information or Social Security number.

Protect your Social Security number. Leave your Social Security card in a safe place. Do not give out your Social Security number unless it is absolutely necessary. Do not have your Social Security number printed on your driver’s license, and never write it on a personal check at a store.

When you use a credit or debit card, make sure you know where your card goes during the transaction and get it back immediately after the purchase. Always take receipts with you.

Never write passwords or PINs on the backs of cards or anything else you keep in your wallet.

Contact creditors immediately if you lose your wallet. To help you do this, keep a list or photocopy of all your credit cards, account numbers, expiration dates, and the telephone numbers of their customer service and fraud departments in a secure place at home. Do the same with your bank account information.

Protect your identity when you shop online. Shop only with companies you know and trust.

Source: Illinois Attorney General