Identity Theft: 5 Quick Tips to Minimize Your Risk
Nothing can guarantee that you won’t become a victim of identity theft, but you can minimize your risk, and minimize the damage by making it more difficult for identity thieves to gain access to your personal information.
- Protect your Social Security number: Don’t carry your Social Security Card in your wallet and don’t write or print your Social Security Number on your checks
- Treat your trash and mail carefully: Make it a habit to shred items with your personal info on it – especially those pre-approved credit apps that come in the mail. The national credit bureaus offer a toll-free number that enables you to opt-out of all pre-approved credit offers with just one phone call. Call 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688) for more info.
- Be on guard when using the Internet: Think before you click. Visit www.onguardonline.gov online for safety tech tips.
- Select intricate passwords: It’s tempting to use the same password for everything. Avoid using things like your mother’s maiden name, your birth date and phone numbers as this information is easily available for thieves to find.
- Verify sources before sharing information: Don’t give out personal information on the phone, through the mail, or on the Internet unless you’ve initiated the contact and are sure you know who you’re dealing with. Identity thieves are clever, and may pose as representatives of banks/credit unions and government agencies to get people to reveal personal information.
Tips derived from ftc.gov