Practical Suggestions for Protecting Yourself From Identity Theft

It's no surprise that thousands of Americans are victimized by identity theft each year. Last year more than 9,000,000 people were victims of identity theft amounting to some $45 billion dollars.

By the time the average person realizes they have become a victim of identity theft; it is much too late. By this point, the victim's financial stability and credit rating may be impacted significantly.

What can you to to protect yourself from identity theft? Here are some useful suggestions for you...

  • Place passwords on your credit card, bank, and phone accounts. Avoid using easily available information like your mother's maiden name, your birth date, the last four digits of your SSN or your phone number, or a series of consecutive numbers.
  • Secure personal information in your home, especially if you have roommates, employ outside help, or are having work done in your home.
  • Use a paper shredder to shred sensitive documents before discarding them.
  • Ask about information security procedures in your workplace or at businesses, doctor's offices or other institutions that collect your personally identifying information. Find out who has access to your personal information and verify that it is handled securely. Ask about the disposal procedures for those records as well. Find out if your information will be shared with anyone else. If so, ask how your information can be kept confidential.
  • Never tell anyone your personal information over the phone or send it through email, or fax. Most legitimate companies will not request this information from you via phone or any other unprotected source.
  • Monitor your credit report on a monthly basis to watch for unusual activitiy. Many credit report services will alert you to such activity and even assist you in resolving issues. We have partnered with Equifax to offer you their Credit Watch product.

By following these steps you can lower your risk of becoming an identity theft victim. Being informed is the most valuable protection against identity theft.

Bryan A. Mjaanes is the owner of the successful ReviewCardOffers website - a credit card offer comparison site where you can review more than 130 credit card offers and apply online.