How To Prevent Identity Theft

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How To Prevent Identity TheftIdentity theft is becoming more and more of a problem every single day. While there is no 100% sure way of preventing identity theft, there are things that you can do to safeguard yourself.

Here is what you should be doing:

Don’t bring everything with you.

One thing that I see too often is people carrying all important documents with them. If you don’t need something, then leave it at home! This includes: a passport, social security card, credit cards that you don’t use all the time, and more. If you’re not going to use the item in the very near future, then you probably don’t need it with you every day.

I have even seen someone put their social security card in their wallet where your license is supposed to go. So whenever they opened their license, the first thing you would see was their social security number!

Be careful with the emails that you receive.

Have you “won” $10,000,000 recently? I have probably every other day of this past month! There are so many scams out there these days, and you really need to watch yourself.

Before you click on a link in an email, always make sure that it is a legit email. If it’s a scam, they might ask you for money, claim that you won money, there might be misspellings, and more.

Don’t yell your information into the phone in public.

I have been out at the store before where I’ve heard someone paying for something on the phone and pretty much announcing their name, address, and credit card number to everyone. This is a bad idea! All you need is for someone to be paying attention and to write the number down.

Shred important documents.

If you are throwing stuff away, such as credit cards, financial documents, and more, then you should always make sure that you are shredding it. And, you also need a good shredder because I’ve seen TV shows where ex-identity thieves have pieced together weakly shredded important documents. If something is really important, then you may even want to black out all important numbers and names with a black permanent marker.

Always check your credit report.

If you are already a victim of identity theft, then you might not even know it. You should be regularly checking your credit report to make sure that there are no errors or that someone hasn’t already done damage to your identity.

Have you ever been a victim of identity theft? What happened?

 

Image via Flickr by memebinge

 

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