How to Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

Dated: October 15 2020

Views: 170

Identity theft has affected tens of millions of Americans in recent years, according to the Federal Trade Commission, and more than half of victims say they don't know how thieves got their information. Whether identity theft occurs the old-fashioned way, with someone gaining access to your credit card or wallet, or through cyber crime in which someone accesses your information electronically, there are a number of ways you can arm yourself against identity theft.

Here are a few simple things you can do:

Don’t keep your Social Security card in your purse or wallet or print it on your checks. A thief who knows your Social Security number can open multiple new accounts as well as gain easier access to your current accounts.

Don’t give out any personal information over the phone or on the Internet unless you are absolutely certain of the source or have contacted the company directly. Links in professional-looking e-mails have fooled many. Go directly to the business’s website if you have any questions.

Invest in a shredder and use it to destroy documents containing personal information. 

This includes credit card statements, account statements, pay stubs, etc.

Secure your computer privacy by investing in firewalls and anti-spyware programs, especially if your computer is connected to the internet 24/7. Visit for more information on securing your computer.

Make a list of your credit card numbers and the phone numbers you should call if they are lost or stolen, and keep it in a secure place.

Don’t use obvious passwords like your name, part of your Social Security number, or phone number, or your address. Don’t use your mother’s maiden name, either. If a business asks that question, request another security question. Do use complex passwords that combine upper-and lower-case letters with numbers; they’re the toughest for cyber thieves to crack.

In addition, it’s important to be alert to signs that your identity or account information has been stolen by monitoring your checking and credit-card account. It’s a good idea, too, to periodically obtain your credit reports from the three credit-rating agencies: TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. You can get one free report per year from each.

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Janette Friend-Harrington

"Your Legacy Begins At Home" Janette and Doug and their Friend Team have more than a real estate practice; they have a mission called "Your Legacy Begins At Home". The mission combines years of real ....

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