Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Identity Theft, How to Safeguard Your Information

Identity theft is when your pesonal information is stolen and used without your permission and knowledge to commit fraud or other crimes. Identity theft can cost time and money, can destory your credit and ruin your good name. Identity theft is a serious crime.

How to safeguard your information:
  • Shred financial documents and paperwork with personal information before discarding them.
  • Protect your Social Security number. Do not carry your Social Security card in your wallet or write your Social Security number on a check. Give out your Social Security number only if absolutely necessary or ask to use another form of identification.
  • Do not give out personal information on the phone, through mail or over the internet unless you know who are dealing with or a internet secured site.
  • Never click on internet links in unsolicited emails; it is best to type in the web address. Use firewalls, anti-spyware and anti-virus software to protect your personal computer.
  • Do not use an obvious password like your birthdate, mother's maiden name, or the last four digits of your Social Security number.
  • Keep your personal information in a secure place at home and not readily available to others.

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