Keeping my documents & details safe

Important documents to keep safe

How to keep your documents safe

Safe deposit box

A safe deposit box is used to store important and original documents. They are offered widely by banks and credit unions and include documents such as birth certificates, wills, social security information, deeds, passports, etc. Safe deposit boxes restrict access to unauthorised individuals and would require authorisation of the owner to access.

Home safes

For those documents you may choose to keep at home or make copies of originals, you must ensure you keep them in a home safe. This should be fireproof and have a secure lock to keep these documents safe from people that you do not want to share your personal information with.

Shredder

To prevent fraudsters accessing your information through your rubbish bins. Ensure you shred every document that links to your identity. This includes receipts, credit card offers, bank statements, utility bills etc. Do not throw away any documents or receipts that contain transactions details such as credit cards information, your name or address. Fraudsters can use this information to commit identity theft.

Protect your personal information

Phone

If you receive unsolicited text messages, do not reply to them. Simply delete them. Ensure you have installed a verified antivirus software to prevent fraudsters from hacking into your phone.

Bank accounts

Fraudsters will try and contact you impersonating as your Bank or other financial institution asking you to confirm details such as:
- Security numbers
- Passwords
- Personal details

Ensure you check your bank statement regularly and follow up on any unrecognised transactions. You must always shred any documents containing your personal or bank details before disposing them.

When you receive a new bank card, it is advised by the bank to sign up to these services to prevent identity fraud:
SafeKey (americanexpress.com)
Identity Check | Security | Mastercard
Verified by Visa | Merchant Program | Visa

These services ensure your card details are protected online or even when your card is lost or stolen. If you notice any unknown activity on your bank statements or suspect someone is misusing your card, immediately contact and report this to your bank.

Computer

Ensure you have security programmes installed such as antivirus and firewall on your device. Maintain and update them to ensure maximum protection.

When using your device online, ensure your web browser and operating system are up to date and are the latest versions.

Be careful before clicking on any links on unsolicited emails. They may contain viruses, aiding fraudsters to retrieve your information.

When making a financial transaction ensure you use a secure site. You can identify this using the web address, a secure site will contain “https” before the web address.

Please visit Cyber Aware - NCSC.GOV.UK for further guidance on how to keep your device up to date with security updates and security advice.

For further information visit Cyber crime | The Met

Address

If you start to receive mail from someone you do not recognise, ensure you try and find out why.

In most cases lenders will use the electoral roll to check who is registered as living at a particular address. To prevent this from occurring you would need to tick ‘optout’ of the ‘edit’ register. This will prevent unsolicited marketing mail or junk mail.  Note. This will not affect your credit checks.

Other measures:
- Do not leave your mail in communal areas.
- Ask mail to be redirected when moving residences.

A summary of behaviours that should be considered by individuals to minimise the risk of becoming a victim of identity fraud

For further information on identity fraud and how to prevent it, please visit:
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