Here are some basic tips to use to try and protect yourself from identity theft:
- Shred your financial documents before you throw them out. - If you shred your documents then nobody can dig through the trash and find information on your identity that they might use to commit identity theft.
- Guard your social security number and don't give it out unless absolutely necessary. - The social security number is used in many financial systems and is a key in determining identity. The more you give out your SSN then the higher the odds are for an ID theft.
- Reduce your financial Mail and paper statements. -
- Check your credit report. - You can get an free copy of your credit report annually. Take advantage of this to check your credit every year and make sure there isn't' anything fishy going on. Sometimes ID theft can go unnoticed and a credit report is a good way to verify nothing is wrong.
- Review your credit card and bank statements as soon as possible after receiving them. - Every month check your statements. If you don't check your statements carefully and just auto pay then you may miss fraudulent activity charged to your accounts.
- Use good passwords. - For your computer systems an easily cracked password could be like an unlocked door for an ID theft. Use a password with a combination of letters, numbers and special characters (!#$&*).