Protect Yourself from Identity Theft - Video

 

Summary: Identity theft is a growing problem. Protect yourself against routine identity theft with the simple techniques in this video.

The following is the transcript of the video:

We live in a world where identity theft is a possibility that all of us must consider. Identity theft is not an issue to be taken casually, as it can be devastating to its victims.

Most people's reactions range from the paranoid to the completely oblivious. It's safe to say that neither extreme is the best way to handle the situation, so how do you determine what the right way is? The answer lies in controlling your personal information as much as you possibly can and utilizing wise discretion.

The thing you want to protect the most is your Social Security Number. It is a vital part of your personal information and you should keep it safe, but you still may need to cart it around for some valid reasons. Even so, you need to be conscious of where you're putting that information and who is looking at it. Control is the key word when it comes to avoiding identity theft.

When giving sensitive information to others, offer it only on a need-to-know basis. For instance, if the bank needs your Social Security number to locate your account, give it out but make sure you know it's really the bank you're talking to. If the bank calls you, then you don't need to provide that information; they should already have it. If you call them, you probably will have to give more than just your name for them to be able to help you out.

Also, don't have your Social Security number printed on your driver's license, your checks, or any other item that changes hands frequently.

When you leave town, make sure you have someone pick up your mail or have the Post Office hold it for you. You don't want just anyone to be able to come up to your mailbox and access all that information.

Make sure you know what's going on with your financial accounts; if there is activity on there that you don't know anything about or you see anything else suspicious, contact your financial institution and see if they can investigate for you.

Identity theft is without a doubt a serious problem and one that needs to be approached with awareness, but you can still live your life and protect your information. Stay in control of your information, know what's going on with your money, follow up on any suspicious activity, and you should do just fine.

For a longer tip related to this subject, see Avoiding Identity Theft

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