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  Public Employee Press

PEP Dec 2006
Table of Contents
  La Voz

Public Employee Press

Seven tips to prevent identity theft

1) Protect your Social Security number.
Don’t carry your Social Security card in your wallet. Give your Social Security number only when absolutely necessary and ask to give other types of identification.

2) Treat your trash and mail carefully. One person’s trash is another person’s treasurer.
Always tear up or shred copies of credit card applications, bank statements, insurance forms and credit offers you get in the mail. Deposit your outgoing mail containing personal identifying information in post office collection boxes, rather than in an unsecured mailbox. Always remove mail from your mailbox.

If you’re planning a long vacation and can’t pick up your mail, call the U.S. Postal Service at 800-275-8777 to request a vacation hold.

3) Be on guard when using the Internet.
The Internet is an incredible resource; however, it can leave you vulnerable to online scammers, identity thefts and more.

For practical tips to help you against Internet fraud, secure your computer and protect your personal information, visit www.OnGuardOnline.gov.

4) Select intricate passwords.
Avoid using easily available information like your mother’s maiden name, your birth date, and the last four digits of your Social Security number or your telephone number.

5) Verify a source before sharing information.
Don’t give out personal information on the telephone, through the mail, or on the Internet unless you’ve initiated the contact or are sure you know whom you’re dealing with. Identity thieves are clever and have posed as representatives of banks, Internet service providers and even government agencies to get people to reveal their Social Security number, mother’s maiden name, account numbers, and other identifying information.

Before you share any personal information, confirm that you are dealing with a legitimate organization. Check an organization’s Web site by typing its URL in the address line, rather than cutting and pasting it. (You can open up your computer to intruders if you click on a cut and pasted address.)

6) Protect your purse and wallet at all times.

Carry only the identification information and the credit and debit cards that you’ll actually need when you go out.

7) Most importantly, store information in secure locations.
Keep your personal information in a secure place at home, especially if you have roommates or employ outside help. Be especially careful to protect personal information when having work done in your home.




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