A recent study from West Point professor Lt. Col. Gregory Conti found that military personnel who are deployed overseas are more likely not to keep an eye on their accounts, whether it be from lack of time or lack of resources. The military also uses Social Security Numbers for basically everything from important paperwork to trivial things like buying food at the grocery store on base.
The military is taking steps to reduce its dependence on using SSNs. Every time it is required to be used by military personnel in everyday use is currently being evaluated and is expected to be cut in half. For instance, starting this spring, SSNs will no longer be put on military IDs.
Here are some tips for servicemen and women and their families to use to prevent becoming victims of identity theft.
-Don’t share your SSN unless it’s required. Don’t risk being charged with insubordination by any means, but you could at least ask what your SSN will be used for each time you’re asked for it.
-Never give out personal information over the internet or phone.
Thieves may be looking for details to corroborate information they already have or to fill in gaps in their knowledge. When someone asks you to provide your mother’s maiden name or the city in which you were born, how do you know they are matching that to information you’ve provided or whether they are entering it into a database of their own, to be used against you and your bank account? You don’t.
-Don’t use easy or obvious passwords. Using a variation of your birthday for a password can leave you exceptionally vulnerable. Using the same password for multiple accounts can also be devastating. You should use different passwords for each account and change them regularly to thwart identity thieves.
If you have had problems with identity theft and have questions or concerns, feel free to contact us through our website or by calling 205-879-2447.
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