Be Smart … Guard Your Personal Information

“Half of being smart is knowing what you’re dumb about.” ~ Solomon Short

We all do it; swipe a card at retail, order a gadget online or even a pizza over the phone. Credit card fraud takes place every day, everywhere and often when you least expect it. The good news is you can make it harder for someone to get ahold of your personal information. Here are some ideas to protect yourself from credit card fraud and perhaps even identity theft:

  • Don’t share your account number, social security number or even your date of birth via email, text or through your social media platforms. Always be suspicious when asked for personal information through email, text or social media.
  • Set a reminder to change your passwords and don’t use the same password for multiple accounts. Write them down if necessary, but make sure the passwords are unique for each site.
  • Don’t share your account number with anyone over the phone, unless you’ve made calls to the company before and know they are reputable. Or you initiated the call.
  • Use prepaid gas cards at gas stations rather than your debit or credit card to help avoid skimming devices often used at these locations.
  • After completing a transaction, make sure you get your card back before walking away. Ironically, this just happened while out to dinner with my family. There was no card slot in the receipt holder at the restaurant. My Mom searched for her card and ended up asking the waiter if he perhaps still had it. He did. It had slipped out of the receipt holder and was in his apron pocket. Now, obviously, this wasn’t a malicious intent, but it goes to show how quickly a credit card can go missing.
  • Never sign a blank document. If you are leaving cash as a tip, be sure to draw a line through the tip portion of your receipt and carry the total down to the last line before signing. I usually write “cash on table” on the tip line to safeguard against unauthorized additions.
  • Read the Terms and Conditions and Privacy information before sharing your personal data, including your email address on any online site.
  • Avoid conducting personal financial business over a public Wi-Fi. Good idea to configure your phone to only connect to trusted networks.
  • Stop your mail when you go on vacation. A full mailbox could be an indication of an empty house or to prompt someone to go through your mail.
  • Always check your statements. Be aware of what people are charging to your card and how your information is being used.
  • Shred. Shred. Shred. Anything with your name, address, date of birth, social security number, etc. should be shredded to help protect against identity theft. Also consider shredding receipts; even those with partial numbers. Escape the “dumpster-diving thief” from finding discarded billing statements, bank statements or any other account type information.

As an IBO, please be sure you aren’t obtaining information from potential recruits or customers in some of the ways highlighted above and never write the information down and store it. If a new IBO is filling out a paper form and providing you with their personal information (i.e. SS#, credit card, full name/address, DOB, etc.) it is imperative that the information is promptly shredded and not saved; especially where someone else could obtain it. It sometimes amazes us how information is shared. Recently a new IBO wanted to cancel her position and stated she never saw the IBO Agreement or agreed to any of the terms. We asked how the account was enrolled with all of her personal information. Wait for it … She provided her personal information over Instagram. Shocking, right? But, we see it or hear it almost every day. Obviously, sharing information like this over a social media platform is not recommended. However, it equally important to note that an IBO accepted the information and then proceeded to enroll the new IBO. Remember, this is not permitted. All IBOs and Customers are to join on his/her own volition. No exceptions.

We hope this information helped you with ways to secure your personal data. If you have any questions about this or any of our policies, please contact the Business Ethics Department at businessethics@acninc.com. We are here to help you.

Announcement

The ACN International Convention is right around the corner! We look forward to seeing you there with your teams to become inspired, motivated and empowered in ways one can only imagine. Show up and be present and give yourself the momentum to push forward through the lazy-days of summer.

“Presence is more than just being there.” ~Malcolm Forbes

Pro Tip

Check your credit card statements closely; especially during November and December when credit card fraud is at its highest.