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Seven new years resolutions that are easy to do, cost very little money (or are even free!) to protect your identity from identity theft crimes.
The New Year is approaching and many people are starting to think about their New Year’s Resolutions. Many people want to lower their weight, live healthier and get more organized. We want you to also consider lowering your risk of identity theft on line, developing healthy habits to prevent identity theft and organizing your wallet to protect yourself against the fastest growing crime. We want you to be one of the lucky ones who isn’t one of the new identity theft victims every nineteen minutes. We’re giving you our lucky seven New Year’s Resolutions but remember that it takes more than luck to prevent identity theft. It really does take education and action.
7. Lose Weight in Your Wallet
For starters, once and for all, memorize that social security number and get it out of your wallet. Your address, telephone number and birth date may be easy to access but your social security number is often the key to unlocking your accounts. Memorize your social security number and lock your card away in a safe place. Always ask “Why?” when someone asks you for your social security number and evaluate the reason and the asker before you give it your social security number away. You can also lose weight in your wallet and reduce your risks be limiting the number of credit cards you use and carry.
6. Freebies You Really Need
Not everything that is free is worth your time but getting your free copies of your credit report annually is imperative. If someone is using your information but a different address, you will not know about the identity theft and the mounting charges unless you check your credit reports. You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies annually.
5. Don’t Go Soft on Software
There are anti-virus, anti-phishing, anti-adware and anti-spam software available to meet a variety of computer user needs. Whether it is a free download, a stand-alone software program or a security suite, evaluate your needs and make protecting your computer and your identity a priority this year. If you have software program installed, make sure that it is on and that you have updated it as often as possible. If you keep clicking “no now” for updates, you are not protected against the latest threats. Updates are based on
4. Shred it and Don’t Forget It
One man’s trash may be another man’s treasure takes on a whole new meaning when you are throwing away credit card offers, statements or any mail or computer print outs with personal information. It’s true that identity thieves have found many more convenient and large scale methods to commit identity theft but this tried and true method hasn’t been abandoned and actually escalates during desperate economic times.
3. Your Password Please
It is a good idea to periodically change your passwords and the New Year is the perfect time to do so. You should not use identical passwords for a variety of sites, nor should you have passwords written down and kept near your computer or in your wallet. Change your passwords, improve them and guard them as if they hold all of your money because a sense they really do.
2. Be Happy to See Your Bills and Statements
We know that the mailbox doesn’t always bring glad tidings of good cheer but it really important to open and read your bills and statements monthly to quickly find any discrepancies. That also includes medical bills and insurance statements as medical identity theft is on the rise as well. It may seem like a blessing if a company doesn’t send you a bill one month but it should concern you. What if someone took your bill out of your box to access personal information? Always call and inquire when a bill goes doesn’t arrive.
1. Stay Armed with Education
Subscribe to or visit IdentityTheftSecrets.com to stay informed about the latest identity theft crimes and scams as well as the latest prevention measures, products and tips.
Happy New Year to our readers and have a healthy, happy and safe (from identity theft) 2009.