Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Protect Your Identity

How can I protect myself from identity theft?
Simple lifestyle changes can help you avoid identity theft
Unfortunately, there are a lot of times where identity theft cannot be tamed, like in the workplace. If vital information is stored on a laptop computer and that computer is stolen, it can potentially expose thousands of identities.

But there are steps you can take. Learn to love your shredder. Instead of throwing things away that may contain personal information, take the extra step of shredding the document. It could save you an enormous amount of hassle down the line. These may include pre-approved credit card offers and credit card receipts that you no longer need. Just throwing these items away could prove costly.

If you’ve applied for a new credit card or know that your card is up for renewal, be sure to pay close attention to your calendar to make sure that the information comes on time. If it does not, contact the company immediately to see if it was mailed.

When you’re in line at the grocery store or mall, be careful of “shoulder surfers.” These are individuals who tend to stand close to you with the sole purpose of obtaining your PIN and accessing your account.

If you write down passwords instead of memorizing them, be sure not to keep the list in your wallet. Be cautious as to where to put or when you give out your Social Security number.

Making these strategies part of your daily routine could protect you from being one of the 9 million people that fall victim to identity theft each year.

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