Identity theft is a fast growing crime, and prevention starts with you. Are you doing everything you can to stop someone from taking your personal information? Once they have it they could use that information to open account or get loans
in your name.
Here are some simple and useful ways to help prevent identity theft:
Be sure you are always shredding documents before they go in the trash. If you can, keep a shredder nearby to dispose of personal information such as credit card and bank statements, or even credit card receipts.
If you do not have access to a shredder make sure you are ripping up documents as much as you can before putting them in your trash.
Carry little information
When you are out and about, try to carry as little information as possible. You don’t really need five credit cards in your purse or wallet all at once. Avoid having your social security card and passport in your purse.
In this day and age checkbooks are rarely used. If you don’t need to write a check, it is not necessary to carry your checkbook everywhere you go.
Limit the information you give out
It is important to limit the amount of personal information you give out. Several phone scams have been reported as a result of identity theft. Steer clear of providing personal information unless you have instigated the call or you are positive you know who you are dealing with.
Think about if the person or company really needs you social security number.
Use caution when shopping online. Prior to submitting your personal or financial information through an online site, look for the padlock image on your browser’s status bar.
Another thing to be mindful of is if the site uses https:// rather than https://, this will help you determine if you are using an authenticated website or not.
Keep tabs on your accounts
Make sure you are keeping close tabs on your accounts. Monitor your bank and credit card statements to be sure all transactions are accurate.
The internet gives you access to your accounts 24/7 therefore, you can check your accounts as often as you like. If you suspect any suspicious activity contact your credit card company or bank ASAP.