There’s no guarantee that you won’t be a victim of identity theft, but you can help minimise risk by creating new habits. Once you become familiar with these steps they’ll easily become a part of your normal routine.
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- Protect your post and rubbish from theft and shred letters and documents that contain sensitive data.
- Deposit sensitive outgoing post at the post office or in collection boxes.
- Carry only the identification and the credit and debit cards that you actually need.
- Personal information should be kept in safe place at home, especially if you have roommates or employ outside help.
- Keep your purse, wallet or forms with sensitive data in a safe place at work.
- Don’t give out personal information over the phone, through post or over the Internet unless you bind into a contract. Identity thieves may make contact as representatives of banks, Internet service providers and even government agencies to get you to reveal personal information.
- Don’t use personal information, like your Social Security number, as a password on any accounts.
- Inquire about security and disposal procedures in your workplace and at offices and businesses that gather your personal information.
- Request copies of your credit report every year from each of the major credit reporting agencies. You are entitled by law to one free report each year, so take advantage of this important program.
- Make a list of all your credit card and bank account numbers with customer service numbers and keep them in a safe place.
- Check your financial statements promptly and report problems immediately. Follow up with creditors if your bills don’t arrive on time. It could mean a thief has stolen your account and changed your billing address.