For many freshman, moving out to college is their first taste of independence from their parents and can be a major reality shock. If this is your first time living away from home, it won’t be long before you miss the simple protections offered by your parents when sleeping under their roof. And while you may think that your college has protections in place to prevent identity theft from happening to you, you are actually in more of a position to have your personal information compromised on campus than you would be at home.
Here are a few identity theft prevention tools you should utilize when you go away to school:
- Invest in a P.O. Box for important mail that would have your personal identification information displayed on it. The dorm mail room is hardly secure if you are looking to avoid identity theft.
- Never loan your credit card to anyone – even your best friends – and check your bank statements regularly for irregularities.
- Invest in a shredder and a safe so that you can destroy documents like your statements once you are done looking at them and hide personal information that you need to hold on to.
- Anti-virus software on your computer is a must, and it needs to be updated as frequently as possible to protect from any threats that could be lurking on the school’s wireless network.
While this behavior won’t guarantee complete identity theft prevention, you will have a leg up on criminals if you are prepared.