With the rise in electronic banking, internet shopping, and the wide availability of information, identity theft is becoming a more and more prevalent crime. It is shocking to think that this danger, which was rarely (if ever) discussed just a few years ago, is now a serious threat.
To protect you and your family from the dangers of identity theft, here are a few easy ways that you can keep your identity safe.
You should be sure to keep your Social Security card in a safe and protected space, such as a lock box or safety deposit box. You should NOT casually carry it around with you in your wallet, and you should be extremely discerning when giving out your Social Security number to someone. If asked for it, you should see if it is possible to provide some alternate form of identification. You should be even more careful when giving your Social Security number out over the internet.
You should try and limit the number of debit and credit cards you carry around with you in your wallet to only those that you are planning on using. If you are going to the grocery store and know that you will be paying with a debit card, leave your credit card at home in a safe location. In the event that your purse or wallet is stolen, this is a great preventative measure.
Also, you should close any bank / credit card accounts you have open that are not regularly used. Consolidate your accounts as much as possible, as it will make it easier for you to monitor activity, and will leave you with fewer accounts to be concerned about.
For any remaining bank accounts or credit card accounts you choose to keep active, be sure to carefully monitor your monthly statements for any unauthorized charges.
Likewise, it is recommended that you order free copies of your credit report each year from three different credit bureaus and check these for accuracy.
You should make sure that your mailbox or post office box is locked so that the information inside is only available to you and your family.
Any mail or other documents you receive that contain personal information should be shredded (with a cross-cut shredder, if possible) as soon as you no longer need them.
While identity theft is a growing threat, it is a preventable threat. By keeping these tips in mind and acting safely, you can keep your family safe from the growing danger of identity theft.
If you would like more information on identity theft, contact the Denton criminal lawyers at the law firm of