Tips To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

Every minute of every day there are people working to steal your identity.  Victims of identity theft face the frustrating problem of restoring their credit.  It will cost them many hours of work and it can cost a good amount of money.  Identity theft can affect not only the victim, but everyone else.  Credit card companies are not going to absorb the cost of the fraudulent charges.  They will simply pass the cost along to the customers in the form of higher fees.

There are some precautions you can take to try and prevent identity theft.  Here are a few tips for you to consider.

  1. Carrying a bunch of credit cards in your wallet is a real risk. Some people may think that having a handful of cards in their wallet is a source of pride, but it is not a good idea.  Do yourself a favor and carry only one card with you most of the time.  Leave the other cards at home in a safe place.
  2. There is no need to carry your social security card with you. Memorize your social security number so you have it available if you need it. Be suspicious of anyone who asks for your social security number.  Ask them why they need the number, how your number will be used and how your number will be protected.  If they do not give you a satisfactory answer refuse to give them the number.

  1. You are entitled by law to receive one copy of your credit report from each of the three credit bureaus each year. Get a copy of one of  your reports at various times throughout the year and go over the information carefully.  Make sure to contact the credit bureau if you find anything that is not correct.
  2. When you make purchases online use only one credit card. This way you will only have one credit card number floating in cyber space and it will help limit your exposure to identity theft.  Better yet, use an online payment service like PayPal for online purchases.
  3. Take your mail in the house as soon as possible after it is delivered. Leaving mail in the mailbox can be a temptation to thieves to steal and use the information for identity theft.  It is not a good idea to put outgoing envelopes containing checks or other personal information in your home mailbox to await pickup later by the postal person.  Instead put this type of outgoing mail in a postal box or mail it at the post office.
  4. Pay careful attention to your bank statements and credit card statements each month. If you see anything that looks off contact your bank or credit card company right away.
  5. If you do banking online be sure you change your password every three or four months. Have a password that includes both numerals and upper and lower case letters.  You need to have a strong password.  If a thief can figure out your password and your security questions he can easily steal your identity and can wipe out your bank accounts.

Using these tips can help protect you from becoming a victim of identity theft.