Identity theft prevention: 12 tips

With over nine million victims each year nationally, identity theft is the fastest growing crime in Los Angeles County.  In the cyber age, where information is dispersed across the web, just being careful isn’t enough to protect your identity.  If you are serious about protecting yourself, the 12 tips below courtesy of of will get you started.

Identity theft starts with the misuse of your personal identifying information such as your name, Social Security number, credit card numbers, or other financial account information.

Check your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus every year.

Open your credit card bills and bank statements right away. Review your statements and close unused accounts. Be aware if bills don’t arrive on time.

Don’t carry your Social Security card or PIN numbers in your purse or wallet.

Avoid giving any personal information over the phone, mail, or Internet unless you know who you are dealing with.

Verify credentials when solicited for donations.

Keep a helpful eye for elderly family members and vulnerable neighbors.

Make sure that you disconnect your laptop from a broadband or a shared connection when you are not using it.

Avoid offers and pop-ups that sound too good to be true.

Remove your name from mailing lists for pre-approved credit offers. Call toll-free 888-5OPTOUT (888-567-8688).

Only enter personal information on secure web pages that encrypt your data in transit.

If you’re going to use a mail box, do so during or close to the posted pick up hours. Retrieve mail promptly and discontinue delivery while out of town.

Comments are closed.