How to Avoid ID Theft
Identity theft victims can experience problems with their credit, finances, employment, insurance rates, ability to obtain auto or life insurance and even loss of their personal assets.
The following tips outline how you can prevent identity theft from taking over your life:
- Take a proactive approach in managing your personal information.
- Shred, destroy and/or delete physical and electronic confidential information.
- Avoid using easily available information (like birth dates of family members or you mother’s maiden name) for passwords.
- Secure confidential data in your home and at work.
- Ask about information security procedures in your workplace, medical (hospital, doctor, and dentist) offices, businesses (utility/phone companies), or associations that you are a member of.
- Do not give out personal information (through the internet, phone or mail) unless you have initiated the contact and/or know the individual/business that you are dealing with.
- Do not carry your social security card with you.
- Keep your purse or wallet in a safe place at home and work.
- Update your virus protection software and firewall regularly.
- If your purse or wallet is lost or stolen, act quickly and close accounts and contact any of the three credit reporting agencies.
- If you become a victim, place a fraud alert with the credit reporting agencies and review your credit reports.