Protecting Your Identity
By: Rob Baquera, Public Information Officer, Roseville Police Department
Many of us have already begun to gather our documents to file our annual tax returns. Now, more than ever before, it’s vital to protect our personal information. Criminals are working hard every day to steal your social security number, bank account numbers, and credit and debit card numbers.
We encourage all residents to take proactive steps to protect personal and financial information. Here are some areas of concern you should consider:
- Trash – un-shredded documents can hold immense amounts of personal information.
- Mail – junk mail often includes our name, address, and sometimes more information.
- Receipts – name, partial credit card information, and recent purchases.
- Public devices – logging into public computers (e.g., hotel lobby computers, library computers, and retail store kiosks).
- Our purses and wallets – credits, medical cards, insurance cards, etc.
- Smartphones – many smartphones have apps that help make our lives easier, such as banking apps, grocery shopping apps, photo apps, and social media apps. They also allow people to stay logged in for easy access.
Here are ways that you can protect yourself:
- Shred all documents, mail, junk mail, and receipts that have any personal information.
- If you must use a public device, make sure you completely log out of any programs and log off the computer.
- Reduce your wallet or purse to only essential items. Have a list of credit and debit cards you carry in case they go missing.
- Never carry your social security card or birth certificate in your wallet or purse.
- For smartphones, use a pin or other biometric options (facial recognition or thumb swipe) to unlock your device. The more complex you make your passwords, the harder it’ll be for a criminal to get into your device.
- Log out of any apps you are not currently using, especially those connected with a financial institution. Use unique passwords for each app or website.
If at any time, you believe your identity has been compromised or stolen, please file a crime report on the Roseville Police Department website: