How to Reduce Your Risk of Identity Theft
Here are some steps to minimize the chances that someone will steal your identity.
Protect your personal information. Don't carry your Social Security card with you
or give out your SSN to people or companies you do not know. Avoid using your SSN on
college ID's, insurance cards or driver's license or have it printed on your checks.
Don't give out personal information on the phone, through the mail, or over the
Internet unless you've initiated the contact. Ask why it is required and how it will
Shred or burn information that you no longer need that contains personally
identifiable information and account numbers.
Find out who has access to your personal information at work and how it is
discarded. Verify that records are kept in a secure location and who has access.
Pay attention to your mail and contact your creditors if your bills arrive late.
Deposit outgoing mail in post office collection boxes or at the post office.
When ordering checks use only your initials and last name and work phone number.
Your bank will know how you sign your name and can spot any suspicious activity or
purchase. Use a post office box for address if you have one.
When paying a credit card payment with a personal check, do not put the entire
account number in the memo - use the last four digits only.
Copy both sides of all personal cards (license, credit card etc.) carried in your
wallet. Keep copies in a safe place separate from your wallet.
Guard your credit cards and carry only one or two. Never fax your credit card
number. Memorize passwords and PINs instead of carrying them with you.
Use a secure browser to guard the safety of your online transactions and read
website privacy policies.>/li>
Get a copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting
agencies at least once a year & review them.
K-State Research & Extension Service publication Privacy in the Information Age
Utah State University Extension publication Preventing Identity Theft
Rutgers Cooperative Extension fact sheet Identity Theft: AViolent Nonviolent Crime
Risk Assessment Tools on-line:
Identity Theft Risk Assessment Quiz found at http://www.rce.rutgers.edu/money/identitytheft/
Colorado State University publication Reduce Your Risk of Identity Theft
Diane L. Burnett, firstname.lastname@example.org
County Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Miami County, Kansas
Kansas State University Research and Extension