Post written by Angie Geer, Bean Counter | Proud Mama | Doting Wife | Cooking Enthusiast | PTA Volunteer (Sucker)

Identity theft is real, folks.

Personally, it drives me nuts when my kids are applying for a job and ask me to text them their SSN or email them their banking info because they’re filling out their direct deposit form. AAggggghhhhhh!!!

I realize they’re young and don’t really think about fraud and identity theft yet, so I guess I’ll take advantage of this prime teaching moment.

All is good and safe in the world, right? Unfortunately not.

Did my client (a seasoned adult) just email me their complete credit card details?

DON’T TEXT OR EMAIL SENSITIVE INFORMATION! Not only are you jeopardizing yourself when you send your info insecurely, but you’re also jeopardizing others when you send it insecurely on their behalf.

How can you send sensitive information (social security numbers, banking info, credit card info, etc.) safely to others?

  1. Encrypt Your Email: Do a search to find services available. However, just because your method of sending is safe doesn’t mean the recipient has the same level of security. It definitely increases your privacy, but it still isn’t 100% secure.
  2. Fax: Yes, traditional fax machines still exist. This is a safer option as long as you dial the correct number and make sure your intended recipient is on the receiving end when you’re sending the fax over. Even better, use a cloud-based internet fax option.
  3. Password Protect: Throw your data in Word, Excel, or a PDF and password protect it before you email it.
  4. Good ‘ole Fashioned Hand-Off: I know, I know…it may take more time, but at least you know EXACTLY who is seeing what you’re sharing.

We all do our best to prioritize our time and energy with family and work. With that in mind, we certainly don’t need the added self-induced stress in our lives of dealing with credit card fraud or identity theft. Be smart about it. It’s better than the alternative.