Having your identity stolen can wreck havoc on your personal credit, take up a lot of your time to fix and can be very frustrating.
The key is to prevent it from happening in the first place.
Here are some tips to keeping your ID protected.
1.Visit the three credit report agencies to get your credit report and go through it carefully.
2. Actually read the mail you get from financial institutions.
3. Always read through your monthly bank and other financial statements.
4. When you recycle a computer or smartphone, try to safely destroy any data on the hard drive or memory card.
5. Don’t reuse your Internet passwords at too many sites and make sure you use strong passwords.
6. There is no need to carry your social security card around with you on a daily basis.
7. Find a safe place to keep your important and valuable papers and documents.
8. Visit the Social SecurityAdministration’s website once a year to check the earnings reported to you.
9. Be careful about which websites you visit and what you do on the Web.
10. There is also no need to carry a bunch of extra credit cards in your wallet that you never use.
11. Don’t throw out financial documents without shredding them first. It’s pretty rare that anyone will go through them, but you never know.
12. You can prevent anyone from opening a new account in your name by putting a freeze on your credit file.
13. Most people do not need to know what your social security number is, so don’t give it out unless you feel you need to.
14. When you receive a new or replacement credit card, activate it quickly.
15. Don’t write your debit card PIN down right on your debit card, keep it a secret.
16. Besides your main email, set up another email that you will use just for your important business emails.
17. Make sure that all companies and organizations you do business with have your current email, address and phone number.
18. Install the necessary virus and malware protection software on each of your computers.
19. Use those free public computers, such as the ones in libraries and hotel lobbies, just for casual, non-personal Web activities.
20. Don’t use free, public WI-FI connections when you need to work on private, sensitive internet activities.
21. Be a little careful with the details you put on FaceBook. Don’t make it easy for someone to learn too much about you.
22. Do everything you can do to keep your computer from being stolen.
23. Protect your smartphone from being lost or stolen and remember to keep its software updated.
24. Don’t automatically trust clickable links you get in an email, even if the email looks like it was from a friend.
25. Be careful if you receive a phone call from someone who says they work for the IRS, a bank or other financial institution.
26. You can decide to quit receiving those unsolicited mails regarding new credit cards if you want to.
27. Try to put your outgoing mail in a spot where nobody could take it.
28. When you order replacement checks, try to pick them up at your bank rather than having them mailed to your home if you worry about your home mailbox situation.
These tips are discussed in more detail at http://www.IdentityTheftHelp.com/Prevention/