consumerU

Identity Theft DEMO

According to the FTC, identity theft occurs when an individual's personally identifying information (e.g., SSN), is used without permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. It is the fastest growing crime in the United States and is estimated to occur every three seconds. More than 11 million Americans have their identity stolen each year.

Precautions to Protect Your Identity

So, how can you protect yourself from such a widespread crime? You can do all you can to protect your identity by taking the following precautions:

Use uncommon passwords.You should create passwords that do not contain easily available information, such as your mother's maiden name, birth date, Social Security Number, phone number, etc. Be sure you avoid any sort of password that can be easily traced to you. Additionally, avoid using the same password for all of your business; change them as much as possible.

Secure Your Personal Information in the Home or at Work.Whether using a locked file cabinet or other secure location, things such as checks, social security numbers, bills, etc., should be secured under lock and key. At work, be sure to keep your personal belongings locked in a secure place as well.

Don't Give Out Personal Information.Don't give out personal information over the telephone, online or through the mail unless you have initiated the contact. Additionally, you should always ask why certain information is required in any sort of membership or application process.

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