The Planner's Perspective: Old School Identity Protection

Paul Morrone |

By Paul Morrone CFP®, CPA/PFS, MSA  

Even methods of communication considered ‘old school’ leave individuals exposed to the risk of identity theft, fraud or even a cyber-attack. We stress the importance of managing your presence everywhere, and that includes protecting yourself by vetting the information that you receive over the phone, in the mail or online. These longstanding and trusted methods of communication are often overlooked in a digital age, but still present a material risk to the unsuspecting consumer.  At the very least, review your mail each day and consider these 5 tips to help mitigate the amount of junk mail that shows up at your house:

  • Monitor mail for any irregular confirmations of credit accounts being opened or new accounts being established in your name that you did not authorize
  • Shred all documents that can contain PII, account numbers or other sensitive information
  • As tempting as it is to simply throw out all that junk mail, take the time to open each envelope as it may contain sensitive information that needs to be shred
  • Shred all pre-approved credit card offers as these solicitations often include prefilled forms generated by a lender who as pre-screened you as a qualified borrower
  • If you wish to opt-out of pre-screened credit card mailings, you may do so using the following web address: - think of this as the ‘do not call’ for mail marketing

A reminder that Personally Identifiable Information (PII) includes information such as your name, date of birth, social security number, driver’s license or passport number.

Please note this article contains hyperlinks to additional content. The information being provided is strictly as a courtesy. We make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy of information provided at these web sites.