How To Prevent Identity Theft? Do It With Knowledge!

How to prevent identity theft with these tips is the key to not becoming the next victim.

Do you know how to prevent identity theft? Read on!
  • Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America and the downward spiral of the economy has just increased this crime even more.
  • Identity theft can affect your credit, home, social security and everything you’ve worked so hard to build over the years.

Check out some of the many different types of identity theft to be aware of.

How to prevent identity theft is a matter of being educated and having knowledge about how these crimes happen and the types of scams to be aware of are the first step in how to prevent identity theft from happening to you.

In the critical tips I give below on how to prevent identity theft, I have tried to cover the many different areas in which, if a criminal attacks you, you are also vulnerable for identity theft.

So please stay safe and take a few minutes to be aware of how this happens so you will not become just another victim of this vicious crime.

How To Prevent
Identity Theft - Auto Theft

  • Always keep your doors locked.

My father was in law enforcement, so I learned this lesson as a young girl.

That was before we had to worry so much about the criminal element and, at that time, identity theft was unheard of.

I went to the mall to pick up something and when I was driving out in my car, I got stuck in traffic leading out of the mall.

I was at a stop waiting for the traffic to start up again, when all of a sudden my passenger door opened!

Thank heavens it was a school friend of mine, but it could have been anyone.

That made such an impression on me and the fact that my father had said to Always keep your doors locked whether it was day or night. Guess What? He Was Right, Again!

Cars are a popular way to commit identity theft. Here's how...

I never forgot that, and to this day I follow that rule and it has become automatic.

I have reminded my family and friends about this many times over the years, but they don’t always heed this advice.

In this day and age, this should be something that is done automatically for your self protection.

  • When parked do so in a lighted area and make sure not only are your doors locked, but your windows also.
  • Don’t become relaxed in your thinking and leave the keys in the car, even if you park outside in your own driveway (warming the car), or at a quick stop to just “run in to get something”.

How to prevent identity theft?

All it takes is a second for your car to be stolen and your identity with it, as many people leave personal information in their glove compartment or their wallet or purse in the car, especially for a “quick run”. Keep your registration and driver’s license with you.

Your registration and license have your personal information as to where you live.

This makes you vulnerable for robbery and identity theft and gives the thief access to everything in your home.

More information on how to prevent identity theft are found at motor vehicle theft and tips on how to keep cars, RV’s and all the big ticket “toys” we all love to have and play with safe and secure.

  • Make sure you park your car in the garage and lock the doors and set the alarm.

For more protection, also double lock the doors leading from the outside of the house into the garage, and the door from the garage to the inside of the house.

You want to make a criminal’s job harder, not easier.

  • Never leave any valuables in plain sight. This is too tempting to someone who’s up to no good.

Remember, “Out of sight, is out of mind”.

  • How to prevent identity theft has one major item to do for your home.

If you don’t have some type of alarm system, it is wise to purchase one.

  • Use some type of steering wheel lock.

I used to use the club for a number of years but, if a criminal is really serious about stealing your car and possessions, the locking device I find the best, is the auto lock.

Using an ignition or fuel shut off device is also a great deterrent.

  • Don’t conceal a spare key just anywhere.

If you must leave a spare key in the garage, use a lock box that uses a special code to open it.

How To Prevent
Identity Theft - Carjacking

  • Always drive with your doors locked and especially in the city, keep your windows rolled up.
  • At all times be aware of your surroundings.
  • Never drive into high crime areas, especially if it’s late at night, and don’t drive alone.
  • Always have your keys ready and in your hand as you approach your car.

My father also taught us before you get in your car to visually check the car's interior to make sure no one is hidden.

You don’t want to be unaware, get in your car and find someone is laying in waiting for you.

  • Don’t resist if confronted with someone that has a weapon.
  • When driving, always leave enough distance between you and the car in front of you in case of trouble so you have an out, a way to escape.

This rule is another "how to prevent identity theft" and became even more prevalent when carjacking was on the rise and making so much news.

It was a smart habit to get into.

  • If you are “tapped” by a vehicle, make sure you pull over into a well lit and populated area.

How To Prevent
Identity Theft - Robbery

Don't become a victim on one of the many types of identity theft.
  • If possible, never walk alone at night. Always use the buddy system, especially if you do a lot of hiking.
  • Walk with confidence if you must walk alone.
  • Never use shortcuts that go through areas that are isolated. Doing this places you in a position for becoming an easy victim.
  • At night it is safer to walk in the middle of the sidewalk.

This keeps you farther from doorways and the edge of the street near vehicles and makes you less of a target.

It is also much safer to walk in areas that are well populated. Avoiding groups of people that are loitering around is also something to be aware of.

  • If you are followed by someone make sure you go to a well populated area.
  • Don’t resist if confronted with a weapon.
  • Under no circumstance open your home’s door to someone you don’t know.

This is one of the first rules in how to prevent identity theft and worse.

  • Always verify the identification cards of any service people.

How To Prevent
Identity Theft - Home

Whether you are home or not, always keep your doors and windows locked.

There are many types of identity theft. Burglary can make you a victim.
  • Don’t forget to close and lock the upstairs doors and windows also.

These are easy to overlook and are still very vulnerable to a criminal.

  • Sliding glass doors should have key locks.
  • All exterior doors should have double deadbolt locks.

Click on home door security for more information.

  • All windows should have locking devices on them.

Go to home window security for more tips on important window protection to be aware of.

  • Hiding a key outside also leaves you vulnerable, as thieves know people do this and the keys are usually found.
  • Always pick up your mail or newspapers so you don’t give the appearance that no one is home.

If you go on a vacation, have a friend or relative pick up your newspapers and mail.

If this is not possible, then temporarily stop service for both and then put on hold.

  • Always use an alarm. If you don’t have one, make sure you install one.

This gives you one more “layer” of security for a criminal to have to bypass.

So many people do not use their alarm when their home. This can be a very dangerous thing to do. The alarm is a safety net to some degree and will let you know if any one has entered your house that you are unaware of.

To learn more go to wireless home alarm.

  • Another deterrent is to make sure all your fence gates are locked.

Again, this is just one more “layer” a thief will have to bother with before breaking into your house.

A thief will break into the one that gives him the easiest access and one he doesn’t have to work as hard to get into.

How to prevent identity theft is a matter of taking away a criminals opportunity.

Take away the opportunity and you take away the chance of becoming the next victim.

Don't make it easy for a thief make it as difficult as you can, with as many "layers" of protection as you can.

  • Make sure your garage door is closed.
  • Leaving a radio and light on in your house is also a good deterrent for a thief.
  • Protect your valuables by knowing their serial numbers.

Go to do it yourself home security for tips on protecting all areas of your house and how to prevent identity theft.

How To Prevent Identity Theft
Identity Theft Prevention

  • One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself from identity theft is to use a cross-cut shredder.

Always shred all your pre-approved credit applications and other important papers, as your name and financial information will provide access to all your personal information.

Just to be safe, I always shred Anything that has my name, address and any other personal information on it.

One item that many people don’t give a second thought to is catalogs that come in the mail.

These catalogs not only have your name and address, but many also have a pre-approved number for credit on them so you can charge right away.

Whoopee! A criminal bent on identity theft just Loves running up bills in Your name.

Also, make sure you check the inside of the catalog, as many have your name and address on the page where you do your ordering.

  • Whenever you need new checks, don’t have them delivered to your house have your new blank checks delivered to your bank to pick up.

Just having some knowledge in how to prevent identity theft will help you and your identity stay protected and not become the next victim.

  • Never put checks in your home mailbox to mail. A thief could steal these, whitewash the checks, and use them for his own personal gain.

This is a very crucial step in "how to prevent identity theft".

Mail theft is extremely common, so it is much safer to drop them off at a U.S. Post Office or a U.S. Mailbox.

  • If possible get a locked mailbox or rent a post office box.
  • Eliminate getting junk mail and opt out of pre-approved offers.

I show you how to do this by going to stop junk mail.

  • When using phone cards and ATMs make sure there is no one around you that can get your PIN number and access your accounts by what is called “shoulder surfing”.

If I hadn’t been aware of this when I was once grocery shopping, I would have become a victim of identity theft.

The person in line behind me kept crowding closer and closer, especially when I was swiping my card and about to enter my PIN.

I realized what was happening and asked the person to step back out of my space, (which he did, as I had now called attention to him and his actions).

Don't become a victim of credit card scams. Don't go to the ATM alone at night.
  • If possible, never use the ATM at night.

If you must, take someone else along with you.

Going to an ATM that is not isolated and is well lit is also important to consider.

For more on how to prevent identity theft go to atm security for more tips on keeping safe when using the ATM.

  • Converting to direct deposit and online bill paying is also of help.

Many credit unions and banks now offer this type of paperless service free of charge.

See identity theft online for more tips on how to prevent identity theft.

  • Open credit on your cards is a dream come true for a thief bent on identity theft.

If you have credit cards that you haven’t used for over 6 months cancel them.

  • When your previous credit cards have reached the expiration date and you order new credit cards in the mail, make sure you receive them in the right amount of time.

It’s important to keep track of these because, if you don’t receive them by the date due, you must immediately call the credit grantor and ask if the card was sent.

For more detailed information on how to take care of this problem if you become a victim see stolen credit card.

  • Make up fictitious and unusual passwords on all your accounts.
  • Never carry identifiers you don’t need such as extra credit cards, social security card, birth certificate, and passport unless absolutely needed.
  • Never put your social security number on your credit receipts or checks.

Give an alternate number to any business that makes this request and explain why.

  • Whenever you have to identify yourself for employers, schools, or other institutional identification, use an alternative rather than your social security number.
  • Memorize your passwords and social security number.

To learn more on how to keep your ss# safe go to social security identity theft.

This is one extremely important step to be aware of on how to prevent identity theft, because if your social security number is stolen the thief has your whole identity in the palm of his hand.

  • Make sure you know what your doctor’s office and all other financial institutions you deal with do with your personal information, and make sure they shred everything so your information is protected.

How do you keep your medical information safe? Go to medical identity theft for more tips to be aware of.

Medical identity theft has greatly increased in the last few years and even more so with the state of our economy, people losing their jobs and medical insurance.

  • Don’t give Any personal information out over the phone.

If you get a caller that tells you he’s from your bank or one of your credit card companies, tell the person you will call them back.

Never call back a number They give you. Chances are this is not a true number and is a scam to get your personal information.

Doing this leaves you wide open for identity theft. Only provide the information that is absolutely necessary.

Learn how to keep yourself safe from different forms of phone scams.

This is another scam to be knowledgeable about that will show you what to look for and how to prevent identity theft.

  • Another good tip is not to put your phone number on your checks.
  • Always get your business cards and credit cards with your picture on them.
  • Unless you use a website that is encrypted do not use your credit card number online and never put account numbers on your checks or on the outside of envelopes.

Tips on how to stay safe from credit card scams are very important to be aware of.

  • Do not put your telephone number, driver’s license or address on a receipt for a credit card sale.
  • Always monitor your credit cards and bank statements. Go online everyday and check your statement.

If something isn’t right, you will be able to put a stop to it right away.

  • For safety, run your credit reports at least twice a year.
  • If you find any errors, notify the credit bureau in writing. Immediately put a credit freeze on your accounts if anything appears to be fraudulent.

To see what to do and how to do it go to credit freeze for detailed instructions.

How to prevent identity theft is much easier to do and becomes a habit when you educate and protect yourself about what to look for and how to stop it from happening to you. Don’t become a victim of this horrible crime.

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