Q&A: How to protect your checking account
A family member of mine recently had his bank information compromised. How can I avoid a similar fate?
Identity theft is always a concern, and with technological advances, thieves are getting smarter and more creative about stealing your identity and all the access to funds that comes with that.
Here are five tips to help you protect your checking account from would-be thieves.
1. Avoid public computers
Use your home computer to log in to your bank account. Whether you are looking at bank rates, checking your checking account balance or determining whether or not something has cleared, do not use a publicly accessible computer to do so.
2. Shred. shred, shred
Shred your checks: If your bank sends you cleared check copies make sure you shred them so that no one can read the bank account and routing numbers on them.
3. Stay neat
Write neatly: make sure you write your checks out neatly and are very clear about what you intend to pay someone so that there is less likelihood of your check being changed.
4. Leave it at home
Don’t leave checks in your purse or wallet: It’s a bad idea to carry around checks in a purse or wallet that can be stolen. Instead, leave checks at home and use them for bill payments only.
5. Balance your account frequently
Balance your check book: You aren’t just at risk of losing money as a result of identity theft—you could also lose money after you neglect to balance your checkbook and overspend. Balance your checkbook every month to help avoid overdraft fees.
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