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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tips to Prevent Identity Theft

I have been thinking about my debit card use during this holiday season. I don't use credit cards very often but I found my self using my debit card this Christmas season a little extra. This got me thinking about identity theft. Why you might ask? Well, over the weekend while shopping I went to swipe my debit card and realized I was not blocking the view of the key pad from the person behind me. When I use an ATM (which is seldom) I am careful to make sure there is no one looking over my shoulder when I enter my pin number. Later, I got to thinking and decided to research and write a list of corrections that I need to make in order to prevent theft of my identity. The following three tips I found are my weak points in securing my identity.
The first tip I found while researching was to check your credit report and you credit card statements carefully. You should check for irregular activity, transactions or purchases that you did not make. Any activity that can not be easily explained should be looked into right away. You are allowed a free credit score check at least once a year. Using this may give you an early warning if something is not right. This is one tip I really need to remember. I am so guilty of not having any idea when I last did this.
The next step is to shred documents that contain financial or personal information before throwing away. Identity theft can start with a thief stealing your trash! I usually just tear my documents up by hand. I really need to get a shredder
The last tip. If you are not using your check book for a shopping trip leave it at home. The same for credit cards. Only carry in your wallet what you plan to use. I usually have all my cards in my wallet every day. I am now putting the ones I seldom use in my safe box. With this off my mind I can now get back to my holiday shopping.  


  1. I need to take your advice and shred out documents. My parents have a shredder and I've been meaning to get one but always forget when I'm out and about. I need to write it down. Thanks for the tips.

  2. Glad to know it's 'off your mind' now...lol (I had to chuckle at that statement!)

    I actually added the phrase 'photo ID required' to signature on my credit card. Very seldom do they ask to see my card at the check out, but when they do they ask for my photo ID which is an added protection.

  3. We used to have a shredder but I am not sure what happened to it.

    There are some great tips here and I need to heed them.