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Identity Theft
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IDENTITY THEFT

Learn 7 Ways To Protect Yourself from Identity Fraud


identity theft, money management, identity theft protection, consumer fraud, fraud prevention, credit identity theft, identity theft prevention, what is identity theft, about identity theft, stop identity theft

When someone uses your personal information without your consent, they are committing a crime known as identity theft.  Identity theft affects millions of adults each year, and most people don’t realize that their identity has been compromised or stolen until it’s too late.  According to the 2007 Identity Fraud Survey Report, nearly 8.4 million adults were victims of identity fraud in 2007, and although this number has steadily decreased in recent years, it is still alarmingly high. 

Fortunately, there are several ways you can protect yourself from becoming the next victim of identity theft; here are a few strategies to help you reduce your risk of being affected by this consumer crime.

TIPS ON HOW TO PROTECT YOUR IDENTITY


IDENTITY THEFT TIP #1: SHRED YOUR FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS

Don’t just throw old bills and bank statements in the trash; this information can be used by anybody who picks up your account numbers and other details, which can then be used to access your account.  Invest in a home office shredder to dispose of all your documents in a safe manner.

identity theft, money management, identity theft protection, consumer fraud, fraud prevention, credit identity theft, identity theft prevention, what is identity theft, about identity theft, stop identity theftIDENTITY THEFT TIP #2: CHOOSING YOUR PASSWORD

Don’t use your mother’s maiden name for password protection.  Many online and offline services ask you to protect your account using your mother’s maiden name, but this information isn’t always so "private."  Use your own code name or word to protect your accounts so that nobody can guess them easily.

IDENTITY THEFT TIP #3: PROTECT YOUR INFORMATION

Learn how service providers protect your confidential information. Banks, doctors, and even educational institutions have their own policies on how the handle sensitive information.  Make sure you have a copy of this policy and have read it thoroughly to make sure your information isn’t at risk.


IDENTITY THEFT TIP #4: CHECK DELIVERY

Make sure checks are delivered to your bank.  Don’t give identity thieves the chance to steal blank checks with your account information and details on it by having the checks delivered to your home address.  Make a request to have the checks delivered to your bank and pick it up in person for better protection.

identity theft, money management, identity theft protection, consumer fraud, fraud prevention, credit identity theft, identity theft prevention, what is identity theft, about identity theft, stop identity theft

IDENTITY THEFT TIP #5: CHECK CONFIDENTIALITY

Avoid putting confidential numbers on your personal checks.  Social security numbers and driver’s license numbers are considered highly sensitive information that can put you at risk if they fall into the wrong hands.  Avoid working with service providers who demand this information so that you can protect yourself from identity theft.


IDENTITY THEFT TIP #6: CHECK YOUR CREDIT REPORT REGULARLY

It is smart to obtain your credit report on a regular basis. Several Web sites give you a chance to retrieve your most current credit report (some offer free credit reports) so you can check it for accuracy.  Make sure everything is up to date and all accounts are in your name only.

IDENTITY THEFT TIP #7: WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN

Maintain a hand-written database of account numbers and online login information. Avoid saving this sensitive information on your hard drive where online identity thieves may be able to tap into your data.  Take the time to create a handwritten record of all information and store it in a safe and secure place so you can retrieve it when you need it.

There are several ways to protect yourself from someone who may try to misuse your personal information.  Make sure you are taking all of the steps listed above to reduce your risk of identity theft and keep your finances and credit report safe and secure.

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Article Written By: Sabah Karimi; Sabah is a busy writer from Orlando, Fla., who is passionate about writing on health and fitness, beauty, fashion and style tips, spa and travel topics. She now uses her expertise as a freelance writer to contribute to both DivaVillage.com and VillageMAMA.com.



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