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How Do I Prevent Identity Theft?

Identity theft affections over 10 million people in the U.S. every single year. Protect yourself! Here are some steps you can take to guard your identity and prevent yourself from becoming the latest victim of this crime.

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Identity Protection Services

Join an identity theft protection service. There are many companied that will provide you with assistance in the event that your identity gets stolen.

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Protect Your Documents

Protect your personal documents such as birth certificate and social security card by placing them in a safe or a safety deposit box at a bank.

Keep Your Eye On Keepsakes

Always keep your eyes on your purse and wallet! Try to use purses/wallets that have zippers so that passersby can easily see inside. Never leave these items in your car, especially if they can be seen through the windows.

Make Copies

Make copies of personal documents that you keep in your wallet along with phone numbers that you would need to call in order to close any accounts.

Monitor Your Accounts

Keep a close eye on your monthly bank and credit card statements to make sure that there are no unapproved charges. Contact your bank immediately if anything doesn't look right.

Be Cautious Of Special Offers

Remove yourself from any mailing lists for pre-approved credit cards. This adds risk if an identity thief were to find one of these pre-approved cards.

Control Your Risk

Cancel any unused credit cards so that you will have less credit to monitor.

Secure Your Passwords

Make sure that your online passwords are difficult to crack. A totally random combination of numbers and letters is the most secure.

Surf Safely

Check to make sure that your computer is updated with the most current anti-spyware and anti-virus software.

Check Your Credit Score

Monitor your credit score by signing up for a free credit report and think about putting a fraud alert on your account for the most amount of protection.

Shred Your Trash

Don't throw away personal documents without shredding them first! Buy a shredder for your home or office and make sure that you destroy any paperwork that contains personal identifying information. Identity thieves commonly look through trash and dumpsters to find their newest victim.