Identity Theft Prevention the Easy Way

Having Trouble Remembering How to Reduce Your Identity Theft Risk?

Sometimes it can get overwhelming trying to remember identity theft prevention tips. We've decided to make it easy for you. Below you'll find eight identity theft prevention tips, using the word "identity" as your memory cue.

I

Ignore unsolicited phone calls or mailings that request sensitive personal or financial information. You should never give your social security number out over the phone, and it's best to hang up on suspicious calls before giving any personal information.

"I" can also stand for "invest" or "insurance". Invest in identity theft insurance if it will give you peace of mind.
Read our article on identity theft insurance for more information on whether it's right for you. There's no such thing as being too careful when it comes to identity theft.

D

Don't throw away financial paperwork such as bank or credit card statements without shredding them first.

E

Enhance your computer security. Install software that locks your computer or laptop to other users by requiring you to enter a password before logging on. Keep login and password information for your accounts in a locked filing cabinet, not on a file on your computer.

N

Never give your personal information out over the phone. If you think your bank might be trying to contact you, call them directly. Don't respond to someone who claims to be calling from your bank.

Legitimate companies will usually not ask for personal identifying information in any calls they make to you, and if they do, hang up and say you'll call them back. Use the number on the back of your bank, credit card or on your statement -- do NOT ask them what number to call. You will likely have to provide personal information when YOU call your bank, etc., but that's a different circumstance.

T

Tell your bank or credit card company if you receive any suspicious emails from identity theft criminals trying to impersonate these companies. Your bank or credit card company will document and keep track of this information.

I

Invest in identity theft insurance if it will give you peace of mind. Read our article on identity theft insurance for more information on whether it's right for you. It's not always necessary, but it is beneficial for certain individuals.

T

Track your credit card statements, bank statements, and credit reports closely. If you don't pay attention to your monthly credit card statements, you won't immediately know whether or not someone stole your credit card number. Keep a close eye on all your financial statements so you can follow up if you find any suspicious activity.

Y

You will most likely be the first person who discovers whether or not you've become a victim of identity theft. In some cases, identity theft victims are unaware of what has happened, but in most cases it is the individual who notices that something is amiss.

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