Preventing identity theft is never foolproof but here
are a handful of great tips that will make it more difficult for anyone to steal
your personal information.
The first and most important step for preventing
identity theft is keeping a close watch on all of your personal information and
your credit report.
Check your credit reports from all three bureaus at
least once a year. Once you get your credit report check carefully to see that
everything is accurate.
If you find an error, dispute it immediately so you
can protect yourself from fraud. Quite often similar names and similar social
security numbers get mixed up, or worse, someone could have stolen your
Another good way of preventing identity theft is don't
carry your Social Security card or anything with your Social Security number on
it in your wallet. Keeping your social security number private is a
critical part of preventing identity theft.
Also, it sounds obvious, but ensure you don't keep
your bank card PIN in your wallet because it helps a thief who has stolen your
wallet help themselves to your cash at an ATM.
If you use the Internet, make sure all your security
software is up to date and be careful of Internet scams. Remember, no legitimate
business will ever send you an e-mail asking you to confirm your personal
Preventing identity theft means you never give out
personal information unless you initiated the contact or you're absolutely sure
who you're dealing with.
Another good way of preventing identity theft is be
especially careful about divulging your credit card number over the phone to
telemarketers. Often the only goal is to obtain your name, address and
credit card number.
If you have to give your credit card number over the
phone for a hotel or airline reservation, try to use a regular corded phone as
opposed to a cordless or cell phone -- especially in built-up areas.
And, obviously, make sure you report any lost or
stolen credit cards immediately to help fight identity theft.
The bottom line? Be careful when divulging ANY
personal information. Follow these tips and let's try to beat identity theft for
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Gary Gresham is the webmaster for http://www.credit-repair-facts.com/
where you'll find credit information, debt elimination programs and informative
facts that gives you the knowledge to correct your own credit and credit report.