Identity Protection

In this digital world it has become increasingly easy to copy just about anything; including your identity. So how do you protect yourself? Here's some tips:
  • Review your credit card and bank statements regularly for suspicious activity.
  • Request your Credit report at least once a year. Examine it for accounts you did not open.
  • Keep sensitive hard copy information in a fire and watter proof safe, or a safe deposit box.
  • Dispose of sensitive information by destroying it completely (i.e. cross-cut shredder).
  • Get a P.O. box or locking mailbox, and deposit sensitive outgoing main directly at the carriers office.
  • Use anti-spyware and virus protection on all Windows computers, or just get a Mac.
  • Encrypt sensitive files on your computer and removable media.
  • Keep your computer's software up to date, especially the Operating System.
  • Dispose of old computers and media securely. Deleting files or formatting the drive is not enough.
  • Change your passwords and pins regularly. Use a password utility to auto-generate strong passwords.
  • Never give out personal information over the phone or Internet unless you initiated the contact.
  • Never send any kind of personal information threw e-mail, even to people you trust.
  • Never click on links claiming to be from financial institutions. Go to their web-sites directly your self instead.
  • Reduce the amount of sensitive mail you get, including statements, credit card offers, etc.
  • Remove yourself from pre-approved credit offers, junk mail, and telemarketing lists.
  • Sign the back of your credit cards, and question the checkout person if they don't check it or your identity.
  • Get a freeze put on your credit for yourself and your children. This will also help you be more responsible with getting new credit.
  • Incurage your doctor to stop asking for your SSN and using it as the primary ID for their records.
If you believe your information or cards have been stolen:
  • Notify your card issuers immediately.
  • Have card issuers correct any unauthorized transactions.
  • Correct incorrect reports submitted to the credit bureaus.
  • Change your PIN and passwords immediately.
If your SSN is being used without your authorization:
  • Notify the credit bureaus and establish a fraud alert.
  • Use a unique identification number assigned to you credit report for all communications.
  • Send mail items as certified and with return receipt requests.
  • File a report with the local police where the identity theft took place. Keep a copy of the report.
  • Close the accounts that have been compromised or that were opened without your consent.
  • Put a freeze on your credit, to prevent anyone from accessing your credit files.
Here's some helpful web-sites:

Federal Trade Commission: http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft
Free Annual Credit Report: http://www.annualcreditreport.com/

Credit Bureaus:
Equifax - http://www.equifax.com/
TransUnion - http://www.transunion.com/
Experian - http://www.experian.com/

Stop Pre-Approved Credit Card Offers: http://www.optoutprescreen.com/
Get off Junk Mail Lists: http://www.dmachoice.org/MPS/proto1.php
SS ID Theft Info: http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10064.html
Do Not Call List: http://www.donotcall.gov/ or 888-382-1222 from the number you want on the list.

Anti-Spyware:
Sypbot - http://www.safer-networking.org/
AdAware - http://www.lavasoft.com/
A real OS - http://www.apple.com/macosx/

Password Utilities:
KeePass - http://www.keepass.info/
KeePassX (for Mac) - http://www.keepassx.org/
Password Safe - http://passwordsafe.sourceforge.net/

Disk Wiping:
Darik's Boot and Nuke - http://dban.sourceforge.net/
Heidi Eraser - http://www.heidi.ie/node/6

File Encryption:
Included with Apple computers
PGP - http://www.pgp.com/products/desktop_home

Anti-Phishing:
Google Toolbar for FireFox - http://www.google.com/tools/firefox/toolbar
IE 7 - http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp.safety/technologies/antiphishing

- Posted by S.J. Hollist

1 comment:

Keith Schmidt said...

It is not possible to stop Identity Theft. 55% of Americans have had their ID stolen! Always try to prevent it but you can not be sure.
You have 40 times greater risk of ID Theft than needing car insurance. So why not insure self and family for LOW low monthly premium that does WHOLE IDENTITY THEFT PROITECTION with the only companny that does whole protection against any loss and they restore your credit and resolve any other problems not just tell you how and then put you in the same place you were before the theft. Invisus does the work not tell you how to just fix credit problems.
Keith phone 4804649543
Email: ccgone @cox.net or
www.myinvisusdirect.com/KSchmidt