How Can You Protect Yourself From Identity Theft?

Protect yourself from identity theft by protecting your personal information. Taking a few precautions to keep personal information from falling into the wrong hands lowers the chances of identity theft.

The amount of personal information carried on a daily basis should be at a minimum. Only carry the credit and debit cards that are used daily. Keep Social Security cards, birth certificates and passports safely at home. Restrict access to personal information held by an employer or landlord by specifying who is allowed to view it.

A lot of scams involve criminals calling random people to secure personal information over the phone. The criminal poses as a bank or government agency. To prevent identity theft, refrain from divulging personal information over the phone. To ensure it isn't a scam, initiate a phone call by calling the bank or government agency.

Dumpster diving is another way criminals achieve identity theft. Protect personal information by shredding receipts, credit card offers, bank statements and any other document with sensitive personal information, instead of just tossing them into the trash.

A very effective way to prevent identity theft is credit report monitoring. This allows any unauthorized credit changes to be identified quickly and stopped. A credit monitoring service sends alerts any time there is a change noted on a credit report.