Tips for Avoiding Identity Theft

By Justin Graves , last updated October 26, 2011

As technology advances, identity theft continues to be a worsening issue. In fact, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has declared identity theft to be one of the quickest growing crime problems in the United States. However, by becoming more aware of the different scams and threats popular today, you can better protect yourself and your identity. As always, it is important that you only give out your personal information to trusted sources. This information includes items like: your Social Security number, name, address, bank account information, birth certificate, credit card numbers, and any other sensitive information that should be known only to you. For this reason, it is imperative that you keep a close watch on all of your financial information. In other words, you shouldn't use your credit card unless you are using it to actually buy something. If anyone asks you for your credit card number, you need to question them thoroughly before giving out the number.

One of the most important tips for avoiding identity theft is to never give out your Social Security number unless you are absolutely sure why you need to provide it and to whom you are providing it. If someone calls your home asking for information you have already given them, then you should be wary of that person and what you tell them. By becoming aware of potential scammers, you can avoid much trouble down the road. Next, it is important that you safely collect your mail and you don't leave it lying around. To keep things organized, you may wish to purchase a safe or lockbox for your important passwords and other personal information. When browsing the Internet, be sure to have a high-quality antivirus program running at all times. Furthermore, you need to ensure that websites are encrypted when entering sensitive information. Click the lock at the top of your Internet browser to check a specific website’s encryption status.

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