Preventing Identity Theft - Iowa College Access Network - ICAN

Preventing Identity Theft

The best way to prevent identity theft is to protect your information. Keep identifying information away from the places criminals are most likely to look for it.

Identity thieves commonly get information by:

  • Going through the trash outside your home, work or a place where you do business.
  • Stealing mail from your mailbox.
  • Breaking into your car or home, or even your purse or wallet.
  • Gaining access to your personal data in the workplace or at a place you do business.
  • Hacking into your personal or work computer.
  • Creating fraudulent e-mails and websites that ask you for your names, passwords and other personal information.
  • Calling you on the phone and trying to trick you into giving your personal information.

Prevent identity theft by:

  • Shredding all mail and documents that contain your personal or financial information.
  • Removing your Social Security card and birth certificate from your wallet or purse.
  • Limiting the number of credit cards you carry with you.
  • Being careful when you're ordering online or over the phone.
  • Not sharing your account information with anyone. If you receive a legitimate-looking request for information, verify it with the company.
  • Install protective software on your computers.
  • Reviewing your free credit reports at least once a year.
  • Securing your personal information by keeping it in a safe place. (If you don't know who your roommate is likely to invite over after class, for example, don't leave your statements or numbers lying out where a visitor could see them.)

    The best way to prevent identity theft is to protect your information. Keep identifying information away from the places criminals are most likely to look for it.

 

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