- Shred your bills, receipts and financial statements.
- Review your bank statements and your annual credit report for abnormal activity or changes.
- Store your Social Security number and important documents (e.g., your passport) in a secure location.
- Create strong passwords that use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols, and avoid using the same password and username for multiple accounts.
- Fill out a Change of Address form at the post office before you move.
- Always log out of websites you shop or bank on.
- Secure your belongings and keep track of your luggage while traveling.
- Erase financial programs and stored information from your computer's hard drive and your old cell phone before you dispose of them.
- Never share your personal information online or at a physical place of business without questioning why the information is needed or what it will be used for.
- Even if you take these measures, your identity may still be vulnerable. Using an identity theft protection service can offer you a higher level of protection.
For more information on identity theft and how to help protect yourself from it, please visit our Resource Center.
Common misconceptions about identity theft protection.
If you shop on a site that starts with https://‚ you can trust that your information is being kept private and secure.
Despite the “s” that stands for “secure” in the Web address‚ even the most trusted browser security programs can falter at times.
There’s no reason to worry about your identity being stolen just because you receive a bill from a company you don’t know.
It’s possible that someone has used your personal information to open a credit account somewhere‚ or your credit card to go shopping.
Most often‚ identity theft is perpetrated by a network of thieves working together in organized crime rings.
In some cases of identity theft‚ you only have to look as far as your family members‚ friends or neighborhood businesses to find the thief.
Identity theft only happens to people who don’t handle their personal information responsibly.
No matter how secure you keep your financial records‚ accounts and personal information‚ there is always a chance of becoming a victim.
Using anti-malware programs on your computer can keep you completely safe from any online threats.
You must keep your firewall and other PC programs up-to-date in order to help you stay safe from the latest security threats.
Just the Facts
Trends show that individuals who use an identity theft protection service have a lower risk for identity theft.
of Americans who are victimized don’t tell anyone.
is the average amount stolen from an identity theft victim.
1 in 10
Americans have been
a victim of identity theft.