Identity Theft Protection: Protect Your Good Name

How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

As identity theft increases, here are important tips to protect your money and good name (in a CreditDonkey infographic format).

(Click Image to Enlarge)
Infographics: Identity Theft Protection
Infographics: Identity Theft Protection © CreditDonkey

Identity fraud has made a comeback, reports a recent survey by Javelin Strategy & Research, striking an estimated 11.6 million Americans in 2011 compared with 10.2 million in 2010: an increase of 13%.

With the dangers of credit and debit card fraud, we've decided to put together this infographic to help our readers fight back.

It's critical that you not share any personal and financial information with strangers - online or offline. Other tips featured in the infographic include:

  • Keep Your Social Security Card Safe - Don't carry your Social Security card in your wallet, and only reveal the number when necessary.

  • Shred Documents - Dumpster-diving may not be glamourous or high-tech, but it's an effective method for collecting sensitive information. Shred financial and other documents that contain personal data.

  • Say No to Spam - Don't open unsolicited emails or their attachments.

  • Use Strong Passwords - Avoid passwords that consist of common identifying names and numbers such as your pet's name, spouse's name, home address, etc.

  • Check Your Credit Report - Review your credit reports and financial statements for suspicious activity, as well as charges that you didn't make.

If You are a Victim

  • File a police report.
  • Report your theft to the FTC.
  • Place a fraud alert on your credit reports with the credit bureaus, and review your credit reports ASAP.
  • Close accounts that have been tampered with or created fraudulently.
  • If you are a victim, or have a nagging suspicion, you can also contact the entity that issued your personal ID or sold you services (such as the Social Security Administration or utility company, for example).
  • For more detailed information on what to do if your identity is stolen, visit the FTC’s website on identity theft.

(Research by Kelly; Graphic Design by Marcelo)

Kelly Teh is a contributing features writer at CreditDonkey, a home security comparison and reviews website. Write to Kelly Teh at kelly@creditdonkey.com

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