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5 Ways To Keep Your Identity Safe

Feb 7, 2008
Identity theft is an increasingly common problem and it is extremely important to protect yourself. One of the simplest things you can do is to get an unlisted phone number. Most people don't realize it, but many phone companies sell their customer information - names, addresses, and even calling records to people willing to pay them for it.

This can put you at risk of having your identity stolen because the more places your personal information is stored, the greater the chance of it being ripped off.

Getting and using a PO Box is another way to combat identity theft. Having your bills and statements sent to a PO Box will safeguard your personal information from criminals who steal information from mailboxes. It also protects you from anyone trying to connect your name and address by researching your utility bills who keep and share this information. By using a PO Box they will not have your physical address.

When you're at the post office, take the opportunity to mail your bill payments and other letters from there. This will eliminate the chance of them being stolen from the mailbox before they're picked up by the mailman.

Identity theft of this kind is common but also easily prevented if you make sure you never put items containing personal information in your mail box.

Don't ever put your phone number, social security number or any other private data on your checks. Your name and address (your PO box address, remember?) should be all that is printed on them. Some stores ask you for this information but it isn't required if you show them the proper identification. Many businesses are using electronic check verification now anyway so don't ever give out your personal information.

Your social security number is particularly important to safeguard. Even if companies request it, don't give it to them unless they're using it to run a credit check. Again, limiting the number of places that have this information limits the chances of it being stolen.

When you apply for a job, don't give them your social security number until you are hired. There is no need for them to have it until that time, and once again if you supply it when it isn't required, it's just one more place that has it and is a potential source of theft.
About the Author
Is your internet security really doing what it's supposed to? Don't just blindly count on some software suite to protect you. Find out what you need to know to keep yourself protected online at the Security Manor website. Visit http://www.securitymanor.com for more helpful tips & advice.
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