Anonymous asked in Computers & InternetSecurity · 1 decade ago

What are your tips for protecting yourself against identity theft?

76 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    This is serious. Every 3.5 seconds in the United States, someone's identity is stolen. Unfortunately, many view identity theft as an 'online' only problem. It's true that phishing scams, Trojans, and other forms of cyber-crime are a factor, but there are also far more low tech means of identity theft - including digging through your garbage or stealing your wallet or purse. You can minimize your risk by following these ten tips:

    1. Never carry more credit cards than you need and cancel credit card accounts you don't use.

    2. Never carry your social security card. Likewise, don't disclose your social security number unless absolutely necessary, i.e. for banking or tax purposes.

    3. Don't throw away bills or any document containing account or other personally identifying details - use a shredder.

    4. Don't leave receipts behind. Cross check your credit card bills against the receipts.

    5. Keep a tight hold on your purse or wallet - pickpocketing and purse snatching are still alive and well. At parties, in restaurants, or while shopping, know where your purse or wallet is at all times.

    6. When traveling, suspend delivery of the newspaper and mail, or ask a trusted neighbor or friend to gather these items for you. Newspapers piling up outside the home are good indication to would-be theives that you may be away. Mail left unattended in an unsecured mailbox provides a ripe opportunity for theft.

    7. Don't use the same password on multiple sites. Contrary to popular belief, writing down your password isn't such a bad idea. >> Creating a Strong Password System

    8. When shopping online, avoid unknown e-commerce sites. Be particularly Leary of any banner ad or unexpected pop-up that claims your computer is infected or in need of repairs. Rogue spyware scanners and nefarious registry cleaners often use these tactics to trick you into purchasing software that may be ineffective at best, and malicious at worst.

    9. Familiarize yourself with online scams so you don't become the next victim. If it sounds to good to be true, chances are it is a scam.

    10. Keep your computer secure. Make sure your antivirus software is always up to date and a firewall is running at all times.


  • JonR
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Rule number one is simple - use common sense. Don't give strangers your information, don't click on things that say you won a contest/lottery you never entered, remember nobody will give you anything for free or for clicking on a banner, only give away your full SS number to banks and taxes (jobs only need the last 4), and don't search for illegal things. Other things are to install a good firewall, virus/spyware scanner (viruses do sometimes steal your information), and try to stick to sites you know are safe (or your friends know are safe).

    Also I suggest using a service offered by many banks that creates a one time use credit card number. This "card" will be used for that payment only than become disabled, so even if someone acquired it they couldn't use it. Paypal has such a service, and several banks do as well.

    If you think someone got a hold of your information inform your bank(s) and have them change your account numbers, also contact the credit agencies and have them put a block on your credit report to prevent anyone from using your credit. It could also be worth signing up for a service like Lifelock, who will do all that for you.

  • 1 decade ago

    On a talk show hosted by Clark Howard, he advocates freezing your credit. It is a way to place security on your credit reports so that someone else cannot get credit in your name. Google Clark or go to his site:

    That only protects your credit, however, so the rest is up to you. Shred your mail and the junk mail CC applications. Watch your bank account. Never submit info via email. If you buy over the Internet, use a secure site and one that you fully trust.

    Set up an email account that you use only for registration purposes. Use one email for friends, the other for sign-ups. (I actually use 4 and each has it's own purpose. Like one for YA.)

  • 1 decade ago

    Someone called on the phone saying they were associates of someone I had done business with and had all of my information but my bank account number. I told them if they had all that information, then they should have my bank account number also.

    I keep my Social Security card in a separate place, do not carry it with me.

    I have an account which protects my credit cards and bank account and notify me if something looks like fraud.

    I shred anything with my name or information on it before throwing it away.

    I do not pay bills on the computer.

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    I would say keep a close eye on your credit report and make sure there are no suspicious inquires. I think you can also call the credit bruear and request special authorizations to take place before you are approved for anything. Which would be a hassel for you later on, but would help deter any faulty account openers.

  • 1 decade ago

    By going to the link that you provided on your profile page and following ALL the great tips that are there for folks to "brush up on their knowledge of identity theft"....

    Very nice to provide this service, and it's a shame that we have to be so careful these days, I guess I can't provide you with "what's to blame" for social irresponsibility.......

    Christopher K.

  • 1 decade ago

    The best way to protect your self online is to be cautious and not enter your personal information into non-bona fide sites. If you should get an email from a website asking you to "update" your records that would be a good sign that this is a phishing site. Reputable companies like banks ,ebay,paypal,etc. do not ask you provide any passwords or the like via email. If you should get an email of the like from a "company like this you can easily verify it by clicking the "REPLY" button and checking the email address you are replying to: If that email address does not have a very last ending of,,,,etc.;Bu… ends in;,etc. you can be sure that this is some lazy ,sneaky bastard trying to part you from your money. JUST BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL.

    I received a fraudulent email today from a phisher asking me to "update" my" records. The email include this link: http://173-14-76-138-sacramento.hfc.comc… Now when I clicked this link, knowing it was phony, I just put in some made-up ,random User Name and Password. This site accepted these false credential and took me to another page that ask me for my account number, name,address,etc. I again put in some more BULLSHIT and the site accepted that also.So, I put in BARRACK OBAMA ,1600 Pensylvania Ave. , Washing D.C.

    Again, here is the link: http://173-14-76-138-sacramento.hfc.comc…


    Source(s): experience
  • 1 decade ago

    1-use an internet credit card (which can only have 100cash on it)

    2- remember to never share you're credit card (for payment on anything),unless trusted,and read reviews,(people always mention if they steal the information or not)

    3-if you fear someone knows your ip adress change it by restarting your computer.

    4-never add someone you dont know on a social network,they can know your personal information.

    5-make all your social network info friends only.

    6-make a hard to guess password and/or pin.

  • 1 decade ago

    Isn't it a real shame that we must endure this at all, why doesn't our own governments find ways to track, arrest and punish those that committ these crimes against us? Maybe its because it has not happened to one of the senators or congressman, maybe it should then they will find ways to prevent it from happening to us. Isn't living in a democracy so wonderful? I wonder if this happens in China as well?

  • 1 decade ago

    Firstly use AVG 9.0 or latest version, which is an awesome protector against Identity theft, next I'll say you need to preserve your contact info,this you can do by improving the privacy settings.Also change your password every month or so.Do not share any personal info with anyone friendly or otherwise, Create an Avatar with the details and qualities very much different from your's!!

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