How Can I Protect Myself From Identity Theft?
While a growing percentage of identifying information is obtained with computers and other high tech means, the compromise of most identifying information can be prevented by simple crime prevention techniques.
1. Remove all valuable items from your vehicle. This includes checks, credit cards, laptops, PDAs, computer disks, and any paperwork with your information printed on it.
Reason: Vehicle burglaries are one of the most used ways for an identity thief to obtain your information.
2. Do not keep your passwords and PINs in your organizer or PDA (Palm Pilot).
Reason: If your purse is stolen, you have given the thief everything they need to wipe out your bank account.
3. Shred all sensitive documents before throwing them away.
Reason: Identity thieves routinely steal garbage to obtain your information.
4. Purchase a locking mailbox.
Reason: Identity thieves raid neighborhood mailboxes looking for pre-approved credit applications, convenience checks, and other sensitive information.
5.Monitor your bank accounts and credit reports.
Reason: Quick detection of fraud will minimize your loss of time and money, and will aid law enforcement in locating the offender.