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How You Can Prevent Identity Theft

Identity theft occurs frequently these days which means you need to take action to avoid becoming a victim. Luckily, there are numerous things you can do to prevent identity theft. Lets take a look at some of them.

Identity theft occurs frequently these days which means you need to take action to avoid becoming a victim. Luckily, there are numerous things you can do to prevent identity theft. Let's take a look at some of them.
  • Use a paper shredder. One of the best ways to prevent identity theft is using a paper shredder. These machines can tear up documents that contain private information so you can keep things under wraps. It's a good idea to shred any document that contains information such as your name, address, bank account number, Social Security number, and birth date. This means you should shred bank statements, unsolicited credit card offers, medical records, and so on. To get the most security, you should use a cross-cut machine which turns paper into smaller particles than a strip-cut device. Also, you may want to consider getting a machine that can shred credit cards and CD's so you can have total protection.
  • Check your credit report. Checking your credit report on a regular basis can help you spot identity theft. If anything fishy shows up on your report, you can call the appropriate credit reporting agency to find out what's going on. (You'll also have a chance to dispute the action.) By law, everyone is entitled to one free credit report a year, so be sure to take a look at yours.
  • Change your passwords. If you spend time on the Internet, it's important to change your passwords every so often. This is especially true if you do things like online banking. Changing your passwords will help keep your accounts secure. Just make sure the passwords aren't easy to guess. Also, try to memorize the passwords so you won't have a paper record of them.
  • Be smart about your mail. Mailboxes are treasure troves for identity thieves with all that vital information in one convenient place. That's why you need to be smart about your mail. Don't let the mail pile up - check the box and empty it everyday. Use a real mailbox or the post office when sending out payments. Call the post office and have your mail put on hold if you won't be at home for a few days. All of these things can help you protect yourself.
  • Protect your credit and debit cards. Finally, you need to take steps to protect your credit and debit cards. Try to limit the number of cards you have and don't carry all of them around unless it's necessary. When you get a new card, make sure you sign the back of it with a permanent marker. Also, keep on eye on the cashier or waitperson when paying for a purchase to ensure he/she doesn't wander off with your card.

Protecting yourself against identity theft is very important and these are some of the things you can do to stay safe. Shredding your documents, checking your credit report, changing your passwords, watching your mailBusiness Management Articles, and protecting your credit and debit cards will go a long way to preventing identity theft. Good luck!


Article Tags: Prevent Identity Theft, Prevent Identity, Identity Theft, Credit Report, Debit Cards

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Jeff McRitchie is the Vice-President of Marketing for MyBinding.com. He regularly writes articles, reviews, and blog posts on topics related to bookbinding, laminating, paper shredding, and office equipment. More than 2,500 of his reviews have been published in thousands of locations on the Internet. If you're looking for information about paper shredders, his articles are a great place to start.



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