Eight Preventive Steps To Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

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How can I avoid becoming a victim of identity theft?

Eight Preventive Steps To Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

You may not be able to entirely control whether or not you'll become a victim of identity theft, but you can take deliberate steps toward preventing identity theft and fraud. And the most potent ingredient for avoiding identity theft is awareness. Here are eight quick checklist items:

Offline:

  • When using your credit card to make a purchase, cover the card with the palm of your hand so numbers aren't exposed to those around you.
  • Refuse to give out your Social Security number unless you are satisfied that it is absolutely necessary to do so. Offer alternate forms of identification.
  • When ordering new checks from the bank, pick them up at the bank instead of having them mailed.
  • Watch wait staff or store clerks carefully when they take your credit card to swipe for a purchase. If they plan to take it out of your view, go with them.

Online:

  • Don't open attachments or click on embedded links in any e-mail if it didn't come from someone you know and trust.
  • Refrain from sharing your phone number and address on community websites.
  • When you make a purchase online, take every precaution to make sure it is a safe, secure and encrypted transaction.
  • Switch from paper bills and bank statements to online account management. You can check accounts as often as you want and you will eliminate the potential for thieves stealing statements from your mailbox.

   

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