Minimize Your Risk of Identity Theft

23 Aug. 2012

Identity theft is a growing crime which leaves behind long-lasting financial and emotional scars. While you can’t guarantee that you’ll never become a victim of identity theft, you can minimize your risk with a few simple steps.

  • Protect your Social Security number (ssn). Only give out your social security number when necessary and never keep your card in your wallet. If someone asks for your Social Security number, ask:
    • Why do you need it?
    • How will it be used?
    • How do you protect my ssn from being stolen?
    • What will happen if I don’t give you my ssn?
  • Trash carefully. Thieves can pull valuable information from your trash, so be sure to shred credit card statements or any other paper with your ssn or other personal information on it.
  • Browse/buy with caution online. Verify a source before giving out personal information online. Check the URL directly instead of just clicking a link.
  • Select complex passwords. Use a combination of letters, numbers and special characters to secure your accounts.
  • Protect your purse and wallet. Whenever you go out, carry only the items you need and always keeps tabs on your purse or wallet – don’t leave it laying around where anyone can access it.
  • Secure with a safe. At home, keep personal information secured in a safe or locked filing cabinet.
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