Steps To Prevent Identity Theft

Identity theft is becoming more and more common.  Save yourself the headache with some of these tips to prevent identity theft.

1.  Shred documents.  Before throwing away any mail be sure to shred all credit card statements, credit applications and bills.  Dumpster diving is a popular way for identity thieves to gather enough information to open credit cards in your name.  An easy way is to shred credit applications as you receive them.  Do no wait until you have a huge stack, this will make it seem more like a chore.  Place the best home paper shredder in your home office and just shred them daily.

2.  Destroy digital data.  Backups are great to have but a thief can also use the information to steal your identity.  Lock up your backups and shred any CD/DVD’s that are outdated before throwing them into the trash.  Most paper shredders can handle shredding CD/DVD’s and credit cards with no problem.  If you are selling your computer or trashing it be sure to wipe the data.  Not only will it completely delete your data but it will get your Mac running faster.

3.  Do not leave mail in the mailbox.  Whether you are on vacation or mailing bills try to limit the time your mail is in the mailbox.  Thieves can easily steal your incoming and outgoing mail to gain access to your personal information.

4.  Be careful on the phone.  I don’t know how many times I receive calls wanting donations or to apply for credit cards.  Who knows who is on the other end of the phone.  Play it safe and request the information by mail.

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