You may think your identity is perfectly safe and that identity and credit card theft could only happen to someone else, but take a few minutes to answer this Identity Theft Quiz, and see how safe your money and identity really is. Every answer is worth between 1 and 5 points, which you can tabulate at the end of the quiz to see how well your identity is truly protected…
1) What is your primary method of disposal for personal finance information?
A)For the most part, I tear the information up and then dispose of it. B)I tear some of the information and shred some of it before I dispose of it. C)I use a cross-cut shredder to destroy my documents every time, before disposing of them.
2) What method do you use for disposal of unsolicited, pre-approved credit card direct mailing information?
A)I simply dispose of them in the garbage can. B) I always destroy them in some fashion – either I tear them up, or I shred them. C) I always use a cross-cut paper shredder before I dispose of them.
3) What method do you use to discard other personal information like bank statements, pay stubs, credit card bills, canceled checks or utility bills?
A)I generally tear the information up and then dispose of it B)Sometimes I tear the information up, and sometimes I shred it. C)I always use a cross-cut paper shredder before I dispose of any of these materials.
4) When do you check your credit report by any of the major credit bureaus?
A)I’ve never checked my credit report B)I have checked my credit card before, but it’s been over a year C)In the past year, I have checked my credit report
5) Upon receiving financial statements of any kind (credit card bills, checking accounts, utility bills), do you thoroughly review these statements for any errors?
A)I really don’t review my financial statements regularly at all. B)I review my financial statements whenever I can get to it, but not monthly. C)I review my financial statements as soon as I receive them, every month.
6) Where do you get your own personal mail?
A)I use an unlocked mailbox that’s right in front of my house. B)My mailbox is lockable, but I don’t always lock it. C) I’ve made sure I have a locked or secure mailbox/PO Box for all my mail
7) What method do you use to send outgoing mail?
A)I always leave my mail in my own, unlocked home mailbox B)I will either leave it in my own, unlocked mailbox with the flag up or occasionally drop it off at a secured mail drop box. C)I only drop my mail in a locked mailbox or US Mail collection box.
8) Do you ever carry your Social Security card in your purse or wallet?
A)I do carry my Social Security card with me on a regular basis. B)I don’t always carry my Social Security card, but sometimes I travel with it. C)I never bring my Social Security card with me. I store it in a safe place.
9) Is your Social Security number included on any personal information you carry with you? (Checks, ID cards, health-insurance or prescription drug cards)
A)I really couldn’t say. I haven’t noticed. B)My social security number is on several of my ID or insurance cards. C)No, I don’t have my social security number on anything that can be found on my person.
You can calculate your score using the following key: A=1, B=3, C=5. A score of less than 20 means that you might be at real risk for identity theft. A score of 20-37 means that you have begun taking the right steps but you can still improve. A score of 38-45 means that you are doing the right things to protect your identity. however, you still need to be careful because it only takes one piece of information to end up the wrong hands to result in your identity being stolen.
Hope you found this offline identity theft article helpful!