Fast Identity Theft Prevention Tips

Article by Brenda Mohney

Fast Identity Theft Prevention Tips

In our current economy the last thing on the minds of most people is identity theft prevention, that is, unless you are an identity thief. But these tough times have bred many desperate individuals who are turning to white collar crimes.

Of course, identity theft is one of those crimes. Statistics show that identity theft is on the rise. With people losing their homes, cars, and jobs, many people are finding themselves in situations they’ve never experienced before. Most individuals would never even think of going into a bank brandishing a hand gun. But the same person may find it easier to justify ‘borrowing’ someone’s identity to commit identity theft. As tough and stressful as these times are, it is critical that we guard our identities even more so.

Most of us have a million of other pressing issues in our lives to worry about. Agonizing over how to protect ourselves from identity theft is just not another thing we need to lose sleep over. With that thought in mind, I thought it would be useful to develop a list of identity theft prevention tips that can be quickly referred to and used on a daily basis.

At Home and Work:
1. Never provide credit card or personal information over the phone.
2. Do not give any passwords out over the phone or through email, whether it is for personal or work related issues.
3. Shred all documents containing sensitive information, as well as pre-approved offers before throwing them out in the trash.
4. Always be observant of your surroundings and people close by when using sensitive data in public.
5. Speak quietly on the phone in public if giving out credit card information is unavoidable.
6. Do not have your license number printed on your checks.
7. Don’t carry your social security card with you. Memorize your number and leave the card safely at home.
8. Be sure to opt out of pre-approved offers by calling 1-888-5-OPTOUT.
9. Refrain from leaving sensitive letters in the mailbox. Mail letters containing sensitive information at the post office.
10. Know what accounts have been opened in your name by obtaining a free credit report that everyone is entitled to each year from each major credit bureau.
11. Beware of job scam. Don’t give out personal data unless certain the person you are talking to is from a legitimate company.

Computer and Internet:
1. Only deal with trustworthy merchants when shopping online.
2. If making an online purchase be sure the web site is secure. Check and make certain the URL says https instead of just http.
3. Always be certain to install the latest software upgrades and OS updates and security patches.
4. Always use anti-virus protection, anti-spyware protection and a firewall. Be sure to install the latest version and test for vulnerabilities.
5. Be sure to read and review all the manuals that come with networking hardware and software. Set all the security features that are available.
6. Use difficult passwords for the network SSID and password.
7. Scan the network on a regular basis to identify vulnerabilities.
8. Avoid phishing by never clicking a link in an e-mail message. Instead, manually type the URL address into the web browser and log in normally.
9. Never open e-mail attachments, even if it is coming from a friend.
10. Don’t use p2p file sharing programs. They run rampant with virus and spyware infected programs and files.
11. Never use copied disks and CDs.
12. Be sure to scan anything downloaded off the web with an anti-virus program.

As you have probably observed by now, there are a lot of little things you can do to practice identity theft prevention. Most of them are common sense but are easy to overlook on a day to day basis. The identity theft prevention tips listed here should become habit after a while. Don’t let a few minor inconveniences result in becoming a victim of identity theft. Start using these identity theft prevention tips today. Print them out and post them on the refrigerator if necessary. There are already enough things to worry about in these tough economic times; you certainly don’t need to worry about identity theft restoration along with everything else.

About the Author

Brenda Mohney is founder of Identity Theft Security, a site dedicated to providing, tools and resources to help consumers find quality information about identity theft protection by reviewing identity theft services, comparing identity theft plans and offering identity theft videos, brochures and free software.

Use and distribution of this article is subject to our Publisher Guidelines
whereby the original author’s information and copyright must be included.

Brenda Mohney is founder of Identity Theft Security, a site dedicated to providing, tools and resources to help consumers find quality information about identity theft protection by reviewing identity theft services, comparing identity theft plans and offering identity theft videos, brochures and free software.












Use and distribution of this article is subject to our Publisher Guidelines
whereby the original author’s information and copyright must be included.