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7 Steps To Preventing Identity Theft

Jul 4, 2008
Personal data that thieves can use to steal your identity can be gathered from your garbage, so be sure that any documents with sensitive information are shredded or otherwise destroyed. Examples of such papers are bank statements, credit card statements, etc.

If you allow too much time to pass before emptying your mail box, you will be allowing identity thieves ample opportunity to steal private documents. Obtaining a locking mail box or PO Box will make your mail more secure. Simply bringing the mail in as soon as possible after it arrives will protect you. When mailing a letter or bill with private information or personal checks, be sure to send them from a location other than your home so that the chances that they will be stolen will go be lessened.

It is very important that your social security number stay private and safe. Carrying your social security card or other cards displaying the number would be unwise. You can also protect yourself by not writing your number on bills or checks that could fall into the wrong hands.

Home invaders often steal useful personal information when breaking and entering. Knowing this, the importance of storing your social security card in a safe or lock box becomes apparent.

Leaving receipts in stores, ATM's, or banks can also be dangerous. When paying with a credit card, you need to ensure that the receipt leaves whatever business establishment you find yourself in with you.

Never let your credit card out of your site. It is becoming increasingly common for employees of stores and restaurants to make copies of cards while they are away form their owners. If you can't keep track of your card pay with cash or check, or at restaurants pay the bill yourself instead of giving your car an employee.

Don't give personal information out to callers. Even if a call from your bank of financial institution seems legitimate, don't give them information. Find out the reason for the call and what company they represent and then call them back on a number you know is legitimate to give them information.

You should only respond to junk mail if you are going to be taken off of their mailing list. It would be best to avoid junk mail as much as possible. That way, credit card offers can't be stolen from your mailbox and the amount of undesired junk mail you receive will be minimized.
About the Author
Looking for more information about how to stop identity theft ? Learn more about how you can protect yourself from becoming a victim at the Online Security Toolkit website.
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