Identity Theft: What You Need to Know

How to protect yourself from identity theft.

If you think the only way a person can be violated is physically, you’ve never been the victim of identity theft. Victims of identity theft know just how damaging the experience can be. If you want to make sure that you’re never the victim of this horrible, increasingly-common crime, you’re going to want to take a few steps to protect yourself.

Keep Your Personal Information Private

Regardless of whether you’re online or on the phone, keep your personal information private. If someone wants your social security number and you didn’t initiate the transaction, don’t give them that information. If they want your birth date, don’t let them have it. Keep your personal information private and identity theft thieves will have a harder time targeting you.

Be Safe Online

When shopping online, always know who you’re buying from. Make sure that the website URL starts with https:// when giving your credit card information over the web and not just http://. Also make sure you understand the merchant’s privacy policy and make sure that your personal information will never be sold to another party in order to prevent identity theft.

Keep Your Credit Cards Safe

In addition to keeping your personal information safe, you’re going to want to keep your credit cards safe as well. That means only keeping a couple of credit cards in your wallet at any given time. Keep the rest of your credit cards in a fire-proof safe in your home. A fire-proof safe is an important tool in identity theft prevention.

Shred Personal Documents

Just like a fireproof safe is an important tool in fighting identity theft, so is a paper shredder. Shred any bank and credit card statements prior to throwing them in the trash and shred any credit cards that you are no longer using before throwing them away. By shredding these sensitive items, identity theft thieves will not be able to glean vital information from your trash.

Credit Monitoring Services

As an extra precaution, make sure you sing up for credit monitoring services. Credit monitoring services will alert you as to changes in your credit report and you’ll be able to catch if anything fishy is going on.

Remember, when it comes to identity theft, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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