How to Prevent Identity Theft

Identity theft, also known as ID theft is a crime in which a criminal obtains key pieces of personal information, such as Social Security or driver's license numbers, in order to pose as someone else. The information can be used to obtain credit, merchandise, and services using the victims’ name. Identity theft can also provide a thief with false credentials for immigration or other applications. One of the biggest problems with identity theft is that very often the crimes committed by the identity theft expert are often attributed to the victim.

The best way to prevent identity theft is to protect your identification and financial information from prying eyes. Don’t keep all of your identification and financial information in one place and never write down your PIN (personal identification numbers) anywhere. The same thing goes for Internet passwords and member ID information, especially if the password and ID leads a person to a financial site.

When dealing with payment on the Internet you should never do business with a site unless it has “secure socket layer” protection. The letters in your URL in your browser window that begin htpps:// indicates this. Web sites that do not have this protection are called htpp://

You should also never respond to emails or snail mail that requests personal information such as passwords or PIN numbers. You should also avoid requests for your social security number or employee identification number as bogus credit cards and access to your personal information can also be obtained through those numbers. Other information you should avoid giving out is your mother’s maiden name, your pet’s name or any other details that could be used as part of a security verification question on your account.

You should know where your credit cards, bank statements and other important documents are at all times and keep them either with you or under lock and key. The same thing goes for your birth certificate and social insurance card.

Another security measure would be to put your mailbox under lock and key. This prevents thieves from rummaging through it and stealing documents such as pre-approved credit card offers which can make it very easy to steal your identification from you.

To prevent identity theft you should never carry your wallet in your back pocket if you are a man and if you are a woman you should always remember to zip your purse up tight as a wallet that is exposed is a temptation for identity thieves.



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