Protect Your Identity Tip Sheet
- Monitor your accounts regularly
- Check your credit report at least once a year and make sure that there haven't been any unusual or fraudulent charges made.
- Be very careful when provide your information online.
- Legitimate companies will not send unsolicited requests for personal information.
- Make sure that you only give information of this type to a trusted business.
- Don't respond to unsolicited emails, links with emails, or pop-up ads
- Identity thieves use spam, spyware, adware, pharming, and/or phishing techniques in order to acquire information from potential victims.
- Shred all documents that you plan to throw away
- These documents include bank statements, pre-approved credit card offers, utility bills, and any other documentation with your social security or account numbers.
- Try not to keep too many credit cards if you don't use them regularly
- It is more difficult to monitor your accounts if you have numerous credit card accounts that you are not using.
- Protect and store personal information at home
- Make sure that you store your person data and files in a safe place that is inaccessible to visitors.
- Protect your mail
- Send your bills, checks, or other personal correspondence from a secure location like your local post office.
- Install a locking mailbox at your residence. Identity thieves often obtain the information they need by intercepting mail in unlocked street mailboxes.
- Beware of "shoulder surfers."
- Make sure that when you are filling out forms or inputting passwords that no one is looking over your shoulder.
- Place a fraud alert on your credit.
- This is the first line of defense if feel that you have had any of your personal information stolen. Contact each of the bureaus for assistance.