How You Can Fight Back Against Identity Theft

Over eight million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2010. The Federal Trade Commission has some facts and tips for consumers on how to “deter, detect, and defend” against becoming a victim. Here are our key favorites:

  • Don’t carry your Social Security card – Leave your social security card some place safe and not in your wallet. If your wallet is stolen, a thief can use that information for a variety of things like opening a credit card to buying a car.
  • Don’t use an obvious password – The more original your passwords, the better off you are. Obvious passwords include your birthday, mother’s maiden name, and the last four digits of your Social Security number.
  • Shred financial documents– You should make it a habit to shred all paperwork with financial and personal information before you throw them away.
  • Don’t give out your personal information – Be wary when giving out your personal information but especially over the phone and wireless internet connections.

For more on identity theft and how you can avoid becoming a victim, click here for entire list of facts from the FTC.

Do you have any other suggestions on how you can prevent identity theft? Comment below!

5 thoughts on “How You Can Fight Back Against Identity Theft

  1. I think this kind of goes with the password advice, I advise to change your password every 3-6 months just in case. You can never be too sure in this day, even if its just alternating a few passwords, just change them up.

  2. The federal trade commission reports that 29% of identity theft victims are between the ages of 18-29. There is a misconception that identity theft affects the elderly, but victim rates are disproportional high for young adults. Shopping, banking, sharing, and living online comes at a price. A helpful suggestion to students and other young adults would be to check their credit reports and be more involved in tracking their expenditures.

    1. We completely agree. Young adults are so involved with technology these days that need to be wary when purchasing items on the Internet, especially through their mobile device. Sometimes these wifi hotspots are not safe and can make it easier for hackers to find out your personal information. People need to be aware of their money habits and keep up with tracking that information.

  3. Another idea that can prevent your secure information from being viewed by unwanted viewers is to not view sensitive information over an open wireless network, such as at a cafe or airport. This is an easy way for unsuspected people from viewing your sent data. I would also suggest clearing your cache and cookies on a regular basis as this data can be retrieved if your computer’s security is compromised.

  4. Another suggestion to avoid identity theft is to not use unsecure websites that require you to input your personal information. Websites that are unsecure can allow for identity thieves to access the information you put online, whether ordering school books or just random items you want to buy that may not be in a store.

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