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Comprehensive List of Steps Needed to Prevent Identity Theft

The fifth in a series of informational articles entitled, Awareness of Identity Theft, This article covers problems faced by Identity Theft victims and should be read by anyone who has established a good credit rating or wishes to attain a good credit rating and is determined not to surrender it to Identity Theft.

This is the fifth in a series of articles which will increase your awareness about  Identity Theft.

Have you been hearing and reading reports about the crime of Identity Theft?  Do you have any idea what Identity Theft is?

What is Identity Theft?

It is the stealing of items of your personal information such as your social security number, Drivers  license number, address, phone number, debit card details, credit card details, bank account numbers, and even your mother’s maiden name, with the intention of using this information to defraud you and make money for the person who is perpetrating the crime.

You need to exercise extreme care at all times to protect all of your personal information. Only by being very careful at all times, can you expect to avoid becoming a victim of Identity Theft.

How can you prevent yourself from identity theft? Here are a few suggestions. More suggestions can be found in other articles that I have written on the subject of Identity Theft. See website below for further information.

When You are at Home:

• If you have roommates or visitors, or in some cases members of your family living with you, make sure that you keep your personal information secure at all times. I am not saying that these people will attempt to steal identity items from you, but there have been numerable cases that have been prosecuted, where the instigator has been close to the family and well known to the family.

• Place your outgoing mail in the post office collection box or else mail it at the nearest post office, rather than put it in your mail box, which can be accessed by anyone who wishes to do so. Remove your incoming mail from your mailbox as soon as practically possible. If you are going to be away from home, have the post office hold your mail until you return.

• Destroy all your documents that you receive in the mail, after you have dealt with them, including junk mail items that may have credit or personal information on them, such as credit card company solicitations. If you are able destroy this information by shredding.

If you are at Work:

• You may be requested to provide personal information. Enquire as to how this information is to be used and what kind of security is in place. You do not want your personal data left lying around in an office where prying eyes can acquire it.

On the Internet:

• If you are contemplating business transactions online, read thoroughly about the confidentiality of the website. Make sure you are giving any personal information to someone who is going to maintain it securely. If in doubt, do not provide the information.

• You should consider using your Pay Pal account whenever possible to make payments to third parties. This will protect the credit card information that you might otherwise be needed to provide.

• Avoid giving your personal data over the telephone, via email, or online unless you have initiated the contact or you already know the person with whom you are doing business.

In conclusion, always be alert. If someone asks for your personal information, be it a friend, acquaintance, or  business, ask the reason why they want it from you and how they will protect it if provided.

John Ritchie,

Copyright to this article belongs to John Ritchie.

For detailed information on Identity Theft, and to sign up for our 5 part e-course, go to

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      He spent over 25 years in the banking industry in the U.K and Canada. For the last 20 years he was a senior executive for two private sector companies. He was chief operating officer and chief financial officer for the first company and then Quality Manager and General Manager,  with a high tech  ISO registered company  


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